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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Massive truck bombing rocks Kabul city

Afghan police official confirms explosion near guesthouse for foreigners in Kabul; Taliban claims responsibility - AP ====== World | Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:35pm EDT Related: World Taliban claims truck bomb blast in Kabul left 6 of 6 right Afghan policemen keep watch near the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan August 1, 2016. Reuters/Omar Sobhani left 1 of 6 right left 2 of 6 right left 3 of 6 right left 4 of 6 right left 5 of 6 right left 6 of 6 right left 1 of 6 right The Taliban claimed responsibility for a truck bomb attack on a military and logistics services compound in Kabul early on Monday after a powerful explosion was heard all around the city. A security services official said four heavily armed attackers were fighting on the site of the Northgate Hotel, a secure residential compound for foreign military and civilian organizations. There was no immediate word on casualties from Afghan authorities. A spokeswoman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, said they were assessing the situation but gave no details. A statement from the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said had caused dozens of casualties and added its fighters had entered the compound. The attack comes around a week after Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a demonstration by members of the mainly Shi'ite Hazara minority, killing at least 80 people. The Taliban, which often says it wants to avoid civilian casualties, said the compound was not near homes and that ordinary people were not harmed. (Reporting by James Mackenzie and Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Sandra Maler) ================== Afghan official: Blast shakes city, possible attack By LYNNE O'DONNELL Jul. 31, 2016 7:22 PM EDT 0 KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A strong explosion took place early Monday near a guesthouse for foreigners in Kabul, an Afghan police official said. It was not immediately clear what caused the blast, which shook much of the capital at 1:25 a.m. (2055 GMT) on Monday. It was followed by widespread power outages. Gul Agha Rohani, Kabul's deputy chief of police, said the explosion happened east of the city's international airport. Rohani named the Northgate Hotel, which houses international contractors, without further details. ============= By Khaama Press - Mon Aug 01 2016, 3:50 am 0 Comments 77 views Email Email Print Print Kabul explosions A massive explosion rocked Kabul city in the early hours of Monday morning with preliminary reports suggesting a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) was detonated. The incident took place around around 1:30 am local time targeting a compound frequented by the foreigners. It is believed the compound is North Gate which provides accommodation to the foreign military and civilian organization in the country. There are also reports at least four militants launched gun attack following the massive blast that resulted into power outage in the city. The Taliban group claimed responsibility behind the attack and said a coordinated attack has been launched on a guesthouse of the foreigners in the city. There are no reports regarding the casualties as a result of the incident. Follow Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook. Stay updated via RSS

military prepares for biggest Okinawa land return since 1972

World | Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:49am EDT Related: WORLD U.S. military prepares for biggest Okinawa land return since 1972 TOKYO | BY TIM KELLY Osprey military aircraft are seen at the U.S. Futenma airbase in Ginowan, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, July 26, 2013. REUTERS/Nathan Layne/File Photo Osprey military aircraft are seen at the U.S. Futenma airbase in Ginowan, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, July 26, 2013. REUTERS/NATHAN LAYNE/FILE PHOTO The United States military said on Friday it was preparing for the biggest land return in Okinawa since 1972, as it faces a surge in opposition to its presence following the arrest of one its civilian contractors for the murder of a local woman. Okinawa is the U.S. military's key base in Asia where it faces an increasingly assertive China. It hosts 30,000 military personnel on bases that cover a fifth of the island. "We are respectful of the feelings of Okinawans that our footprint must be reduced,” Lieutenant General Lawrence D. Nicholson, the U.S. commander on the island, said in a press release. Once new helipads are completed, the U.S. military will hand back 4,000 hectares (40 square kilometers) of land to the Japanese government, which is 17 percent of the area it controls. The tract is part of the U.S. Marine Corp jungle training camp known as Camp Gonsalves in Northern Okinawa. Okinawa was under U.S. occupation until 1972. The return of the land was agreed in 1996, but has been delayed by protesters blocking the construction of the helipads. The Japanese government recently resumed work at the site. Local resentment over the U.S. military presence surged after an American civilian working at a U.S. base, Kenneth Franklin, was arrested last month in connection with the murder of a local 20-year-old Japanese woman, Rina Shimabukuro. Nicholson announced a 30-day mourning period after the murder and temporarily banned marines from drinking off base. Washington and Tokyo agreed to limit legal protections and benefits to some U.S. civilians working for the military. The murder and a subsequent arrest of a U.S. Navy sailor for drunk driving spurred large scale demonstrations and calls, backed by Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, for Washington to move military personnel off the island. After the rape of a Japanese schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen in 1996, the U.S. and Japanese governments agreed to relocate some troops outside Okinawa but said others would be moved to less populated parts of the island. (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry) More from Reuters Moscow airport workers plead guilty to causing Total CEO's death |29 Jul Dollar slides on U.S. GDP, Japan bonds fall on BOJ move |30 Jul U.S. Air Force says Boeing KC-46 tanker passes final test for initial production |19 Jul Ship hits wall of Panama Canal, renews design concerns |26 Jul Barclays shares jump as transatlantic refocus starts to pay off |29 Jul by Taboola Sponsored Links From The Web The Most Priceless Moments Ever Caught On Cam Flipopular How Cruise Ships Fill Their Unsold Cabins Cruise Deals Ace Man Wakes Up Much Richer After Shocking News Shock365 Here's One More Reason Not To Be A Woman In Saudi Arabia Vocativ 10 Warning Signs You May Have Diabetes Vitality 30 Cars That Will Last More Than 250,000 Miles BuzzDrives BREAKINGVIEWS Oracle's Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison gestures while giving a demonstration during his keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, California September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Oracle-NetSuite deal, sweetest for Ellison? PHOTOS OF THE WEEK REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman TRENDING ON REUTERS The dark side of Duterte's deadly but popular drugs war 1 Militants launch car bomb, gun attack on Somali police base, seven dead 2 Multiple victims reported from separate shootings in Austin, Texas: police 3 Clinton leads Trump by 6 points after Democratic confab: Reuters/Ipsos poll | Video4 Trump rebuts criticism by Army father at Democratic convention 5 Patents & Entrepreneurial Universities Measuring and evaluating academic innovation > Demonstrating Impact to Funders > Understanding your University's Rankings > Highly Cited Researchers: Mazen Omar Hasna

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Punjab DIG to investigate British woman's suspected 'honour killing'

British woman's parents killed her for converting to Shia faith: husband By AFP Published: July 29, 2016 27 SHARES Share Tweet Email Samia Shahid. PHOTO: TELEGRAPH Samia Shahid. PHOTO: TELEGRAPH The husband of a British woman who was killed in Pakistan called for the UK and Pakistani governments to ensure his wife received justice Thursday, as he sought to keep the spotlight on so-called honour killings. Mukhtar Kazam presented a copy of the post-mortem report into his wife Samia Shahid’s death — seen by AFP — at an emotional press conference, which said the 28-year-old had marks on her neck, and suggested she had been strangled. Man alleges British wife killed for ‘honour’ in Pakistan Kazam has branded her death an “honour killing”, a near daily occurrence in Pakistan in which a relative is murdered by another for bringing the family “dishonour”. The practice was dragged into the international spotlight earlier this month with the killing of Qandeel Baloch, a polarising Pakistani social media star. Her brother has confessed to the murder, saying his sister’s behaviour had been “intolerable”. Kazam sought to keep international attention on “honour” killings when he spoke to media assembled in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, close to the capital Islamabad Thursday. “I request the British and Pakistani governments to conduct a fair trial,” he said. Police yet to decide Mufti Qavi’s role in Qandeel ‘honour killing’ Kazam and Shahid, both British-Pakistani dual citizens, had been married for two years and were living in Dubai, police told AFP, adding that it was Shahid’s second marriage. Kazam said his wife converted to Shia, his sect, before their wedding, which had irked her parents. In a complaint to police he has claimed she was murdered during a visit to her family in their village in Punjab province on July 20. Shahid’s father has denied the charges and said he did not want an investigation, claiming his daughter died of natural causes. The victims of “honour” killings are overwhelmingly women, with hundreds killed each year. They have long polarised Pakistan, with progressives calling for tough legislation against them and conservatives resisting. Punjab DIG to investigate British woman’s suspected ‘honour killing’ But the murder of Qandeel Baloch appears to have spurred politicians to take action. Last week the law minister announced that bills aimed at tackling loopholes that facilitate “honour” killings would soon be voted on by parliament. Rights groups and politicians have for years called for tougher laws to tackle perpetrators of violence against women in Pakistan. ======================================================= Punjab DIG to investigate British woman's suspected 'honour killing' By Reuters Published: July 28, 2016 LAHORE: The government on Thursday appointed a senior police official to investigate the death of a British woman whose husband alleges she was killed for marrying him against her parents’ wishes. The case has attracted attention because it comes days after the high-profile ‘honour killing’ of outspoken social media star Qandeel Baloch by her brother. Samia Shahid, 28, a beautician from Bradford who had gone to visit her family in Pakistan, died last week in the village of Pandori in northern Punjab, the political power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif appointed Deputy Inspector General Police Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh as the investigating officer. Man alleges British wife killed for ‘honour’ in Pakistan “We are treating this as a very high-profile case of high priority,” said police spokeswoman Nabeela Ghazanfar. Police had not made any arrests but had questioned Shahid’s father and were searching for her divorced first husband, Choudhry Shakeel, who was missing. Her second husband, Kazim Mukhtar, told media on Thursday that they had both received death threats from her family in the past. Her relatives have said she died of natural causes. Less than two weeks ago, 26-year-old Qandeel, who had divided opinion in the deeply conservative Muslim society by regularly posting risqué photos on social media, was strangled by her brother. Police yet to decide Mufti Qavi’s role in Qandeel ‘honour killing’ Police officer Aqeel Abbas said bruising found on Shahid’s neck could have occurred while her body was being moved or buried. “She was asthmatic and diabetic,” he said. “The forensic report will reveal the real cause of her death.” Shah’s husband Kazim Mukhtar said he believed she had been poisoned and then strangled. “I have received the post-mortem report that says there is a 19-cm long reddish bruise on her neck, which strengthens my doubts,” he told Reuters. Read more: honour killing , Samia Shahid

Home flight simulator in MH370 captain's home plotted Indian Ocean course: JACC

Business | Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:12am EDT Related: World, Aerospace & Defense Home flight simulator in MH370 captain's home plotted Indian Ocean course: JACC SYDNEY | By Matt Siegel Member of staff at satellite communications company Inmarsat point to a section of the screen showing the southern Indian Ocean to the west of Australia, at their headquarters in London, Britain, March 25, 2014. REUTERS/FILE/Andrew Winning/File Photo Member of staff at satellite communications company Inmarsat point to a section of the screen showing the southern Indian Ocean to the west of Australia, at their headquarters in London, Britain, March 25, 2014. Reuters/FILE/Andrew Winning/File Photo A home flight simulator owned by the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was used to plot a course to the southern Indian Ocean where the aircraft is believed to have gone missing, the Australian agency in charge of the search said on Thursday. But the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said the presence of the simulator data did not prove that the pilot had intentionally crashed the Boeing Co. (BA.N) 777> plane. "The MH370 captain’s flight simulator showed someone had plotted a course to the southern Indian Ocean," JACC said in an email to Reuters on Thursday. ADVERTISING inRead invented by Teads "The simulator information shows only the possibility of planning. It does not reveal what happened on the night of the aircraft’s disappearance, nor where the aircraft is located," it said in an earlier statement. The jetliner, with 239 aboard, disappeared in March 2014 while on a flight from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It has long been believed that the plane crashed into the ocean in the remote region plotted on the simulator. Almost A$180 million ($135.70 million) has been spent since then on an underwater search spanning 120,000 square kilometres (46,332 square miles) in the southern Indian Ocean. Several pieces of aircraft wreckage have washed up on beaches in Africa and been positively identified as coming from MH370 but they shed little light on the mystery. Since the crash there have been competing theories over whether one, both or no pilot was in control of the aircraft when it disappeared or whether it was hijacked. Adding to the mystery, investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the plane's transponder before diverting it thousands of kilometres (miles). Malaysian investigators said in 2015 there was nothing suspicious in the financial, medical or personal histories of pilots or crew. ($1 = 1.3264 Australian dollars) (Editing by Michael Perry)

Monday, July 25, 2016

After violent struggle for land, Thai campaigners face challenge to community farming

World | Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:06pm EDT Related: WORLD After violent struggle for land, Thai campaigners face challenge to community farming BY ALISA TANG KLONG SAI PATTANA, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In Klong Sai Pattana, a rural community carved out of an illegal oil palm plantation by land rights campaigners, new arrivals are given a one-year trial run at being farmers. If the newcomers pass the year-long test in organic farming and sustainable development, they are permitted to stay. If not, they move on and their plot in Surat Thani province in southern Thailand is passed on to the next applicant in line. Klong Sai Pattana's leaders say the rules - honed over two decades of violent struggle for land and shaped by land rights movements from countries including Mexico and Brazil, to India and Indonesia - are essential to preserving harmony. They argue a government push to evict them - and to redistribute to outsiders the state-owned land that they fought for - could result in a failed community. "It's not as if we can live with 'random' people. What if bad elements come in? The people live here together through order and discipline," Prateep Rakangthong, a 61-year-old leader of Klong Sai Pattana, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Villagers who can't accept and live with this order can't live with us," Rakangthong said. "The community would collapse - then the land would fall into the hands of people who have buying power, the investors," he said, after meeting government officials in early July. Newly-arrived families receive 1,600 square meters (17,222 square feet)to live on, 1.6 hectares (3.9 acres) of land to farm and earn a living, as well as access to a community farm and forest for cooking ingredients and pasture for cows who produce organic fertilizer. LONG STRUGGLE If investors wrest back control of the land, the sacrifice of campaigners who fought to reclaim it - four have been killed by unidentified gunmen since 2010 - will have been in vain, he said. Klong Sai Pattana is a 160-hectare plot owned by the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO). In 2008, campaigners formed the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand (SPFT) coalition, and occupied the land, with the consent of ALRO. They then helped ALRO to collect evidence to win a court case to evict the trespassing palm oil company. Having helped to oust the palm oil company, members of the SPFT say they deserve to stay in the community - under a title allowing collective management and use of state-owned land. However, the government says all Thais should have an opportunity to vie for it. "This area belongs to the Agricultural Land Reform Office. There are clear steps and procedures that must be followed to redistribute and share this land to those who have the right to live here," Jirachai Moontongroy, deputy permanent secretary of the prime minister's office, said during a recent visit. "Even though some people have been living in the area for many years, they are only one group of people who have the right ... it's up to the civil servants redistributing the land in the province to decide," Moontongroy said. EXCLUDED FROM LAND REDISTRIBUTION? The government has used various tactics to push the land activists out of Klong Sai Pattana. Despite having helped to oust the palm oil company, campaigners were accused of being dependents of the company who should also be evicted. On July 15 a court ruled in their favor, saying they were not the company's dependents. Now the Klong Sai Pattana activists face a new challenge: the ruling military junta issued an order this month allowing the ALRO to reclaim land that was occupied illegally. Pranom Somwong, a lawyer with rights group Protection International, said after the verdict on 15 July that the provincial ALRO office "will continue in their efforts to evict the Klong Sai Pattana community from their lands". Campaigners fear that if they are evicted and the land is redistributed, they will be excluded - as happened to others who fought for a nearby plot but were left out when that land was redistributed a decade ago. "These other people don't have to do anything. They just come in, serve themselves and feast," said Khuan Panmuang, a SPFT member living in the nearby community of Santi Pattana. According to SPFT members, 80 percent of the people who moved into that community have since sold their land. (Reporting by Alisa Tang @alisatang, Editing by Jo Griffin and Astrid Zweynert. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories)

Nineteen feared dead after knife attack in Japan: media reports

Mon Jul 25, 2016 | 6:09 PM EDT Nineteen feared dead after knife attack in Japan: media reports Police officers are seen in front of a facility for the disabled where at least 19 people were killed and as many as 20 wounded by a knife-wielding man, in Sagamihara, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 26, 2016. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS Police officers are seen in front of a facility for the disabled where at least 19 people were killed and as many as 20 wounded by a knife-wielding man, in Sagamihara, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 26, 2016. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via Reuters Nineteen feared dead after knife attack in Japan:...X (Reuters) - Nineteen people were feared dead and as many as 24 others wounded after an attack by a knife-wielding man at a facility for the disabled in Japan early on Tuesday, NHK reported. Police in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Tokyo have arrested a man in his 20s, Japanese media reported. They said staff called police at 2.30 a.m. local time with reports of a man armed with a knife on the grounds of the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden facility. Kyodo said the man had turned himself into a police station. ADVERTISEMENT Asahi Shimbun reported that the suspect was quoted by police as saying "I want to get rid of the disabled from this world." Fifteen people were confirmed dead while four were in a state of cardiac arrest, the reports said. (Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Huge fire breaks out near NATO base in Turkey (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Huge fire breaks out near NATO base in Turkey (PHOTOS, VIDEO) Published time: 24 Jul, 2016 21:19 Edited time: 25 Jul, 2016 00:39 Get short URL © secildemirkol / Instagram A massive fire has erupted near a NATO base within the Buca district, Izmir, western Turkey. Authorities are investigating a possible act of sabotage, local media reports. The inferno started on Sunday evening on the border of the Sahintepe and Mevkiinde districts. The fire engulfed the grassy wooded area and is spreading closer to NATO’s military base because of strong winds. According to CNN Turk, the fire is threatening a number of populated areas, and has already impacted a home for the elderly and its adjacent garden. Despite intense efforts by NATO-stationed troops to stop the fire, the rapidly-spreading flames are moving closer to the arsenal, T24 News reports. The channel also reports that possible “sabotage” is suspected. The fire is threatening the Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) base at Şirinyer (Buca) in İzmir, Turkey. LANDCOM is charged with improving the effectiveness and reaction time of the alliance’s land forces that when needed could respond to an international crisis. Under the NATO nuclear weapons sharing program, Washington maintains its largest overseas nuclear arsenal in Turkey, consisting of up to 50 nuclear weapons, according to some estimates. The nukes however are stored at the base at Incirlik, and none are reportedly stored in Izmir. It took more than seven hours of battling the flames using helicopters and an airplane to contain the blaze. However, it has not yet been fully subdued, several local papers announced.

Jamie's Italian, Cargo Bar up for grabs as Keystone assets hit market

Carolyn Cummins July 25 2016 - 5:44AM Carolyn Cummins The receivers and managers to food and beverage group Keystone Group have kicked off the long-awaited sale of 17 well-known venues, including the Cargo Bar and the national Jamie's Italian chain, as they try to recoup more than $80 million to repay debt. The agents at CBRE Hotels Daniel Dragicevich​, Sam Handy, Tim Grossmann and Leif Olson, are steering the campaign for the leaseholds of a variety of pubs and food and beverage outlets across the country. Food and beverage group Keystone are selling their waterfront icon Cargo Bar at Kings Street Wharf, Sydney. Food and beverage group Keystone are selling their waterfront icon Cargo Bar at Kings Street Wharf, Sydney. Food and beverage group Keystone are selling their waterfront icon Cargo Bar at Kings Street Wharf, Sydney. Where have all the good times gone? As the famous Cargo Bar goes up for sale, we look back at the unlucky Sydney venues which haven't survived. Keystone went under last month when it failed to renegotiate an $80 million loan with financiers, the private equity group KKR and Olympus Capital. The assets include Bungalow 8, Cargo Bar, Chophouse Perth, Chophouse Sydney, Gazebo, Kingsleys Brisbane, Kingsleys Woolloomooloo, Manly Wine, the Sugarmill Hotel, The Rook, the Winery and the national Jamie's Italian franchise. Morgan Kelly, from the receivers Ferrier Hodgson, said the sales process would be conducted as either a recapitalisation of the group, or a sale of one or more portfolios of assets. The Jamie's Italian will be sold as a group. The Jamie's Italian will be sold as a group. He said the expression of interest process has fielded interest from more than 120 parties. This interest has ranged from parties looking at a group-level investment through to those interested in groups of properties and individual properties. "A group-level investment offers the synergies of an existing head office function including marketing, payroll and purchasing, and represents a rare opportunity to acquire immediate size and scale to a portfolio," Mr Kelly said. National director at CBRE Daniel Dragicevich said the Keystone portfolio consisted of some of the most well-known and highly regarded venues and brands across the country. "We expect significant interest from all sectors of the hospitality market, both nationally and abroad," Mr Dragicevich said. The Colombian Hotel is being sold as the owner, the McHugh family, has relocated overseas The Colombian Hotel is being sold as the owner, the McHugh family, has relocated overseas Photo: supplied "Whilst the 17 venues will no doubt attract interest from portfolio buyers, it's expected that there will be intense competition from parties seeking to acquire segments of the portfolio and individual piecemeal businesses." Mr Kelly said he was conducting a focussed sale strategy, specifically targeting buyers with the balance sheet strength and operational depth to be able to manage these acquisitions. "The Jamie's Italian franchise restaurants would remain grouped together and sold as a nationally integrated restaurant brand," Mr Kelly said. Pubs are hot tickets for traditional operators, who see the demand rising for places that offer a wider range of food and beverages, not just beer and burgers. The lock-out laws in the City and fringe areas have also seen a change in the venue offerings from late-night drinkers to people coming in for a higher-quality meal in a more family-oriented atmosphere. One asset being sold is the The Colombian Hotel, a three-level former Westpac Bank building, on the corner of Oxford and Crown Streets in Darlinghurst, through Andrew Jolliffe and Joel Fisher of Ray White Hotels Australia in conjunction with Gerry Quinlan of Manenti Quinlan & Associates. The hotel has been operated for over a decade by the private McHugh family. Mr Jolliffe said the timing of the sale comes at a "transformative period" for the eastern suburbs and CBD commercial property market, which has seen new and improved hotel offerings attract a more sophisticated and discerning clientele to the area. This includes the revamp of a number of Oxford Street venues including Justin Hemmes' The Paddington, Kaine Bayfield's Light Brigade Hotel and the soon to re-open Paddington Inn, by Bruce Solomon and Matt Moran. Mr Jolliffe, the Asia Pacific director of Ray White, said the vendor was selling due to relocating overseas. There is now access to well-priced debt, and a demand for A-grade hotel properties not matched by supply, which is attracting buyers for pubs," Mr Jolliffe said. "We have seen a resurgence in commercial property values in Oxford Street after a period of suppression given development in other areas, however what is clear to astute investors is that the various infrastructure investment strategies being deployed at both state and federal level will have a significant impact on the value of commercial property in the Oxford Street precinct", Mr Quinlan said.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Kabul blast 80 dead over powerline dispute: Afghanistan mourns protest bombing victims

Kabul blast: Afghanistan mourns protest bombing victims 13 minutes ago Candles lit during memorial for victims of suicide bomb blast in Kabul. 23 July 2016Image copyright EPA Image caption Candles were lit at memorials for the victims in Kabul overnight Afghanistan is observing a day of national mourning following the suicide bombing of a protest march in the capital, Kabul, that killed 80 people and wounded 230. So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it was behind Saturday's attack on members of the Shia Hazara minority. In a televised address, President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take revenge against those responsible. The UN mission in Afghanistan has described the attack as a "war crime". Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of the UN assistance mission, said the attackers had specifically targeted a large number of civilians. Advertisement What is behind the power line protest? Islamic State group: The full story On Saturday, the IS-linked Amaq news agency said two fighters had detonated explosive belts at a "gathering of Shia" in Deh Mazang square. Correspondents say the statement suggests an intention to foment sectarian strife. Thousands of members of the Hazara minority were protesting over a new power line, saying its route bypasses provinces where many of them live. The Taliban condemned the attack. People collect belongings of victims at scene of suicide bomb attack in Kabul. 23 July 2016Image copyright EPA Image caption The scattered belongings of victims were laid out at the scene for collection Man cries outside hospital in Kabul. 23 July 2016Image copyright Reuters Image caption Shocked relatives of victims gathered outside a hospital in Kabul IS has a presence in eastern Afghanistan but this is the first time it has admitted carrying out attacks in the capital. An Afghan intelligence source told the BBC that an IS commander named Abo Ali had sent three jihadists from the Achen district of Nangarhar province to carry out the Kabul attack. The interior ministry said only one attacker had successfully detonated his explosives. The belt of the second failed to explode and the third attacker was killed by security forces, the source said. Declaring Sunday a day of national mourning, Mr Ghani said: "I promise you I will take revenge against the culprits." He had earlier issued a statement saying that peaceful protest was the right of every citizen and that "opportunist terrorists" had infiltrated the crowd. The Hazaras - mostly Shia Muslims - live mainly in the centre of the country. They have long complained of discrimination. During Taliban rule in the late 1990s, many of them fled to Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan. line Who are the Hazaras? ◾Of Mongolian and Central Asian descent ◾Mainly practise Shia Islam, in predominantly Sunni Afghanistan and Pakistan ◾Thought to be the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan ◾Estimates suggest they make up 15-20% of Afghanistan's population, which is thought to be about 30 million ◾At least 600,000 Hazaras live in Pakistan, most of them in Quetta ◾Legend has it they are descendants of Genghis Khan and his soldiers, who invaded Afghanistan in the 13th Century ==================================== Sat Jul 23, 2016 | 3:54 PM EDT Islamic State claims responsibility for Kabul attack, 80 dead Afghan civil order policemen take position as Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail Afghan civil order policemen take position as Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail An Afghan man weeps outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail An Afghan man weeps outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail An Afghan woman weeps at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail An Afghan woman weeps at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail Men help an injured man outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail Men help an injured man outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail Demonstrators from Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani Demonstrators from Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Omar Sobhani Demonstrators from Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani Demonstrators from Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Omar Sobhani Afghan civil order policemen take position as Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail Afghan civil order policemen take position as Afghanistan's Hazara minority attend a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail An Afghan man weeps outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail An Afghan man weeps outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Reuters/Mohammad Ismail Islamic State claims responsibility for Kabul.By Mirwais Harooni | KABUL (Reuters) - Twin explosions tore through a demonstration by members of Afghanistan's mainly Shi'ite Hazara minority in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 80 people and wounding more than 230 in a suicide attack claimed by Islamic State. Graphic television footage from the site of the attack showed many dead bodies lying on the bloodied road, close to where thousands of Hazara had been demonstrating against the route of a planned multi-million-dollar power line. "Two fighters from Islamic State detonated explosive belts at a gathering of Shi'ites in the city of Kabul in Afghanistan," said a brief statement on the group's Amaq news agency. If confirmed as the work of Islamic State, the attack, among the most deadly since the U.S.-led campaign to oust the Taliban in 2001, would represent a major escalation for a group hitherto largely confined to the eastern province of Nangarhar. The explicit reference to the Hazara's Shi'ite religious affiliation also marked a menacing departure for Afghanistan, where the bloody sectarian rivalry between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims typical of Iraq has been relatively rare, despite decades of war. Islamic State is an ultra hardline Sunni group. Officials in Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, the National Directorate for Security (NDS), said the attack was planned by an individual named Abu Ali, an Islamic State militant they said was based in Achin district in Nangarhar. They said three bombers were involved in the attack. The Persian-speaking Hazara, estimated to make up about 9 percent of the population, are Afghanistan's third-largest minority but they have long suffered discrimination, and thousands were killed during the period of Taliban rule. "We were holding a peaceful demonstration when I heard a bang and then everyone was escaping and yelling," said Sabira Jan, a protester who witnessed the attack and saw bloodied bodies strewn across the ground. "There was no one to help." The Taliban, a fierce, albeit Sunni enemy of Islamic State, denied any involvement and said in a statement posted on its website that the attack was "a plot to ignite civil war". The attack succeeded despite tight security which saw much of Kabul city center sealed off before the demonstration, with stacks of shipping containers and other obstacles and helicopters patrolling overhead. An Interior Ministry statement said 80 people had been killed and 231 wounded, with local hospitals straining to cope with those being brought in. The worst previous attack against the Hazara was in December 2011, when more than 55 people were killed in Kabul during the Shi'ite festival of Ashura. That attack was claimed by a Pakistani Sunni militant group called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. OUTRAGE President Ashraf Ghani declared a national day of mourning and vowed revenge, while the top U.N. official in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, condemned the attack as a war crime. The United States and Russia condemned the attack and renewed pledges of security assistance to Kabul. "We remain committed to work jointly with the Afghan security forces and countries in the region to confront the forces that threaten Afghanistan’s security, stability, and prosperity," the White House said in a statement. Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his "readiness to continue the most active cooperation with ... Afghanistan in fighting all forms of terrorism", Russian news agencies quoted a Kremlin statement as saying. Saturday's demonstrators had been demanding that a 500 kV transmission line from Turkmenistan to Kabul be re-routed through two provinces with large Hazara populations, saying they feared being shut out of the project. The government said the project guaranteed ample power to the provinces, Bamyan and Wardak, which lie west of Kabul, and that altering the planned route would delay it by years and cost millions of dollars. But the resentment felt by many Hazaras runs deeper than simple questions of energy supply. In November, thousands of Hazara marched through Kabul to protest at government inaction after seven members of their community were beheaded by Islamist militants, and several protesters tried to force their way into the presidential palace. The protests by a group whose leaders include members of the national unity government have put pressure on Ghani, who has faced growing opposition from both inside and outside the government. They also risk exacerbating ethnic tensions with other groups and provinces the government says would have to wait up to three years for power if the route were changed. The transmission line, intended to provide secure electricity to 10 provinces, is part of the so-called TUTAP project backed by the Asia Development Bank, linking energy-rich states of Central Asia with Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi, Omar Sobhani, Jibran Ahmad and Omar Fahmy in Cairo, Roberta Rampton in Washington and Dmitry Solovyov in Moscow; writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Hugh Lawson, Clelia Oziel and Mark Heinrich) ========================================

داعية سعودي: آية الله الصرخي كاهن وثني وكفر الشيعة الوثنيين تفوّق على كفر قريش!

And he knows of Dr. Ali al-Rubaie, continuing his attack on the references of the Shiite community , where he said in one of Ngredath Friday morning " for many years and I am looking for a difference between Kafr Shiites and the Quraysh pagans and failed to find a difference in the door of polytheism and disbelief and excelled Quraish morality and lack of idols ." نفى الشيخ الدكتور علي الربيعي أن يكون أصدر فتوى باعتبار الزوجة طالقا من زوجها في حال خلعت كامل ملابسها أثناء المعاشرة الجنسية، ولكنه نفى ذلك وقال إنّه “يستنكر ما قامت به جريدة الإتحاد الإماراتية من إعادة نشر فتاوى مزيفة وسخيفة منسوبة له، رغم علمهم أنها من حساب مزيف وكلام تافه لا يصدقه عاقل”، مضيفا أنّها ” فتاوى مخجلة ومخزية وسخيفة تنشر باسمي من حسابات مزيفة…” Sheikh Ali al-Rubaie denied that he issued a fatwa as a wife divorced from her husband, if I took off full of her clothes during sexual intercourse , but he denied it and said he " deplores what was done by the newspaper Federation of UAE re- publish fatwas fake and silly attributed to him , even though they know it from one account and the words of faux fiddling not believe him sane , "adding that it" shameful and scandalous opinions and silly publish my name from the fake accounts ... " http://www.watanserb.com/2016/07/22/داعية-سعودي-آية-الله-الصرخي-كاهن-وثني-و/

Friday, July 22, 2016

Real Estat set to win biggest tax amnesty: Builders reject proposed amnesty scheme

Real estate set to win biggest tax amnesty By Shahbaz RanaPublished: July 22, 2016 244 SHARES SHARE TWEET EMAIL PHOTO: memecenter PHOTO: memecenter PHOTO: memecenterThe need for the tax amnesty scheme arose after the government brought legal changes to determine fair market value of the properties by amending Income Tax Ordinance through Finance Act 2016. STOCK IMAGE ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday agreed, in principle, to offer the biggest ever tax amnesty scheme in the country’s history, which will whiten a whopping Rs7 trillion untaxed and black money currently stashed in the real estate sector Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and representatives of the real estate sector discussed the broader contours of the amnesty scheme, which will be implemented by either promulgating a presidential ordinance or introducing a bill in parliament, said a government official. It was the third round of talks in last four days. Taxing real estate: Govt forms body to address concerns of property dealers After the talks, Dar told media that the next meeting will be held on Wednesday in which real estate sector representatives and FBR officials will share their respective property valuation rates. “On Wednesday, the two parties will reach a consensus as things are going towards positive direction,” he said. Real estate sector representatives would bring their own property valuation rates of 18 main cities and FBR officials will share their rates. On the basis of both the rates, valuers will work out ‘consensus rates’. These determinations then will become the base for giving amnesty on past transactions and calculating taxes on future transactions, said the officials. Dar ducked three repeated questions on whether the government was going to give another tax amnesty scheme and left the venue. It will be the tenth amnesty scheme in the history of the country and the third of the PML-N government in last as many years. The government’s last tax amnesty scheme to traders miserably failed, as it could bring in only 9,090 traders in the net against the claim of over one million. The need for the tax amnesty scheme arose after the government brought legal changes to determine fair market value of the properties by amending Income Tax Ordinance through Finance Act 2016. However, a move that was initially aimed at capturing actual income gains from the property transactions would end up whitening about Rs7 trillion untaxed and black money currently parked in the real estate sector. Real estate sector, govt close to breakthrough on controversial tax decisions The ill-conceived changes in the tax law immediately created two problems, putting a question mark over trillions of rupees transactions carried out till June 30 and the fair market value of the future transactions, said a senior government official who attended the negotiations. A government official told The Express Tribune that it has been decided that the government would not ask the source of income of the past transactions from investors. Abdul Rauf Alam, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), said that this issue was not only the issue of real estate and builders associations but it was the issue of every businessperson, industrialist, importer, exporter and bureaucrat. Since the beneficiaries of the schemes are from all segments of society, the scheme is expected to pass through all the legal obstacles, said FBR officials. “The big players in speculative business in real estate and capital markets are the beneficiaries of policies of appeasement,” said eminent tax expert Dr Ikramul Haq. He said these big players, in between politicians and corrupt bureaucrats, get their share courtesy a few leading tax experts who in connivance with some stalwart in FBR provide support to tax evaders. Haq added that the whitening of assets by compromise is a great fraud depriving the country of trillions of rupees in taxes. According to the broader contours of the likely amnesty scheme the government would settle the past property transactions by charging a fixed tax of 4% to 5% of the price differential between the deputy collector rates and the new rates, which will be determined by next week. Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2016. Read more: Amnesty , Real estate , tax Recommended Stories karachi-733-2-3-2-2-2Taxing real estate: Govt forms body to address concerns of property dealers Newly constituted committee will prepare report by weekend cent1Real estate sector, govt close to breakthrough on controversial tax decisions Stakeholders propose ways to deal with low revenue generation 1095957-gwwww-1462251839-208-640x480-2Development: Balochistan seeks to expand Gwadar industrial zone Provincial government ensures provision of 3,000 acre land for expansion by Taboola Sponsored Links You May Like Get Solar Panels From the Government - For Almost Nothing! Reversing Solar Subsidy Man Was Looking For Pokémon When Suddenly He Got Attacked GoEnjoyExperience Do You Drive with Your Fog Lights On? CarAdvice.com.au 8 Simple Investment Rules Buffett Used to Make His Fortune The Daily Reckoning Australia How 1 Man Made 100 Times His Money after Age 50 The Motley Fool Australia Don’t believe the hype about shipping containers, say architects Domain Reader Comments (10) ALL COMMENTSREADER'S RECOMMENDATIONS faraz 15 hours ago Reply How sad that the government and Mr Dar backed off so quickly. Even though the tax would effect people like me however it is a necessary tax in order for us move forward as a nation. Property should be taxed at market rates. There should be no concessions at all. I find it unacceptable that there will be an amnesty. Mr Dar should not back down. Ordinary voters are with him so what is he afraid of. If this law is not passed now in the manner which takes into account a tax rate on the fair market value of the property then I don’t see how the issue of a large population of rich in this country will ever pay taxes. It’s only salaried people who pay taxes and the rest just take a free ride. Recommend rasheed 14 hours ago Reply Everything is still under negotiation, we will know what really happened after minimum 3-4 days. Recommend kamran 14 hours ago Reply A big fraud to the people who regularly pay the taxes. after this so called amnesty given to the black money holder, no one will ever going to take FBR seriously. i am deeply sad if it is really going to happen. Recommend Ahmed 13 hours ago Reply All corrupted money, black money, drug money, gambling money, gambling money, kickbacks are now going to be provided blanket protection by the govt…….. Recommend Observer 13 hours ago Reply I think this article is totally biased. There is no other way than a one time amnesty to make this money come under the tax net. This black economy was created by the provincial government by not increasing dc rates for decades. A genuine investor could not declare his sale price aside from the dc rate because no buyer would buy it at a price higher than that. Now this has to be fixed by the government itself by providing an amnesty. Otherwise what would you do. All the people lamenting over this are the people who want property to be cheaper. That is not the answer, home financing options and mortgage is the answer, if the property dropped by 50% the people crying would still not be able to purchase property, That is a matter of fact. Recommend pokemon1088@hotmail,com 13 hours ago Reply This is really sad that the government has capitulated so fast. The scheme they proposed originally would have been really good for this country. Recommend Ahmed 13 hours ago Reply How can FBR determine the rates? Real estate is like stock market. The face value is always far lower than the market value. Market value is determined by the demand/supply model while the face value is the bookish value. Instead of blackmailing the population, the government should take up other vistas to generate revenue either by earning it or by saving it. For instance, we could have long gotten rid of the oil-based electricity production and moved towards Coal, Wind and water based generation. This would have saved hundreds of billions of dollars in 10 years against the import bill for oil. On the other hand, Government will have to opt for the China model to some extent. Government should plant industries and factories. For instance, Government could have developed 8-10 giant factories to produce UPS, Batteries and generators so that instead of wasting billions on importing these goods, we could purchase local supplies. Also I don’t understand why the government has allowed import of cars into the country. That is the biggest leakage of dollar reserves after oil. aaaaa, scratching my hair off !!! Recommend Umar 12 hours ago Reply It’s not true at all its not all black money, I live and work in Europe I have personally invested in property in Pakistan, and there are lot of Pakistanis who have invested in Pakistan. We were all really depressed with this new tax on property because we already pay 42 percent taxes here on our salaries and then send remittances back home. There are other ways to catch black or illegal money. How can government overnight change rules which they haven’t looked at in last 30 years and make people like me and my friends suffer who have worked so hard and invested back home due to love of our motherland even though we have options here to invest which are 100 percent safe. I think government need to take this tax back and put in place other mechanisms to catch illegal or black money. I am an active membe of pakistani community here and I have been to gatherings where everybody is talking about this in a bad way and saying if Godforbid this law got implemented they will pull back all investments and they will never invest in Pakistan because of overnight changes in policies and not considering the contribution of overseas pakistani. Property is the safest form of investment in Pakistan and we overseas Pakistanis strongly condemn this black law because it will convert our investment into half overnight. We hope government will back off from this law and find other means of increasing revenues and catching illegal money. Recommend Rant 8 hours ago Reply If the government had changed a decades rule overnight and caused the real estate market to crash then the foreign Pakistanis would never invest in their country again as their confidence would be shattered. Dr Iqramul Haq is unhappy as he was not chosen in the policy making. Recommend Naeem 6 hours ago Reply @Rant: A lame argument….all they are asking is to pay tax on actual buying cost and prove money trail. You weren’t complaining when prices were going up…….which book says that prices can go only north. First they evade taxes and now they are crying ….. Recommend Leave Your Reply Below Name (required) Email Location Web Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ. =================== ISLAMABAD: The Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) has rejected the amnesty scheme proposed for the construction industry, stating the association has never sought such a concession and will not need it as the business is mostly transparent. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, ABAD Patron-in-chief Mohsin Sheikhani said the builders and developers were carrying out their business and were working hard for the betterment of country’s economy. Real estate set to win biggest tax amnesty “The federal government should support the construction industry instead of creating hurdles in the way of its growth,” he said. “We want to pay taxes according to the law.” Sheikhani pointed out that the government had raised the issue of black money at a time when the construction industry was booming. “The government should have addressed the matter earlier,” he said, cautioning any wrong step would trigger flight of capital from Pakistan, which would be detrimental to the economy. ABAD Senior Vice Chairman Arif Jeewa insisted that the construction industry had never asked for an amnesty. Instead, he said, ABAD had always promoted tax culture and it was the organisation that had given the idea of fixing the tax on the construction industry as there was not a proper mechanism. “We worked for almost four months with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to fix the tax system and we are grateful to the government that it has accepted our demand of a fixed tax and included it in the federal budget for 2016-17.” Real estate sector, govt close to breakthrough on controversial tax decisions He said more than Rs3,000 billion were parked in the country but due to the government’s wrong steps investors were hesitant to disclose the wealth. He demanded that the government give a viable way so that the parked money could be part of the national economy. He also asked the government to abolish the property transfer tax imposed on the tax filers and increase the tax up to 3% for the non-filers of tax returns. ABAD Expo-2016 Committee Convener Haris Ali Mithani briefed the media about the upcoming exhibition which would be held from August 12 to 14 in Karachi and said the show would create a new history of exhibitions in the country. Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2016. Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

36 storey, 104 m residential tower planned in Adelaide

Proposed 36-storey residential tower on Frome St a soaring vision for city’s East End Sam Kelton, The Advertiser July 20, 2016 9:00pm Subscriber only Adelaide’s tallest home Adelaide’s tallest residential building proposed for CBD Adelaide CBD’s second-tallest building plan for Waymouth St THE east-end of the city will reach for the stars under an ambitious proposal for a 36-storey residential tower on Frome St that could become our city’s biggest skyscraper. The hotel and apartment complex, if approved could be the tallest building in Adelaide at an estimated 140m, nudging out Westpac House at 31 storeys and 132m. The Frome St development, which is currently before the Development Assessment Commission features outdoor entertaining areas, an outdoor pool more than 10 floors up and luxury penthouses at the top. Developer Kyren presented its design to Adelaide City Council this week in order to make Tavistock Lane — which runs adjacent to the development on the south side — a public lane. This would become an important but not integral piece to the development which would provide access and a drop off point to the hotel and link through to another 21 storey student accommodation building proposed by the same developer on Synagogue Place. Kyren did not return The Advertiser’s calls however the images clearly show the project occupying the space of the popular fringe venue The Rhino Room, which was put up for sale last year. It’s the latest in a number of proposed developments that could potentially change the scope of the city, including the estimated $175 million, 30 storey Park Hotel on the old State Bank building on Pirie St. Lord Mayor Martin Haese is excited by the project but says it’s important to recognise that it is in its early stages. “The Kyren project is early evidence that the tram extension announcement is instilling confidence in the city and I am confident that there will be more development in this area to follow,” he said. “Expanding the city tram network and enhancing the North Terrace streetscape has the potential to attract investment, encourage residential and commercial development and boost the visitor economy. “With the hospital moving to the West End of the city shortly, this development will help to offset any possible loss of activity and economic benefits to the East End by bringing a new population to this end of town, day and night.” Adelaide’s tallest buildings 1 Westpac House — 132m 2 Telstra House — 104m 3 Grenfell Centre — 103m 4 Australis House — 91m 5 Intercontinental Hotel — 91m 6 Vue on King William — 89m Originally published as Will this become Adelaide’s tallest building?

Gulf Keystone shares spike and plunge after junk bond deal

Business | Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:33am EDT Related: DEALS Gulf Keystone shares spike and plunge after junk bond deal LONDON | BY ALASDAIR PAL AND DMITRY ZHDANNIKOV Gulf Keystone's stock spiked and fell by a third on Tuesday as retail investors flooded chatrooms trying to figure out how junk bond funds led by former JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers traders will help restructure the oil firm. Last week Gulf Keystone, crippled by low oil prices and non-payments from Iraqi Kurdistan, announced its bondholders had agreed to swap $500 million of debt for equity, all but wiping out some of the world's top funds as shareholders. Little-known distressed debt funds such as Sothic Capital, co-run by former JPM trader Gertjan Koomen, and CapeView Capital, co-run for former Lehman trader Theo Phanos, are set to receive significant stakes, according to sources close to the firm and bond holders. GLG Partners, part of hedge fund Man Group, and investment fund Taconic Capital are also likely to become large equity owners: debt-holders are set to get 85.5 percent of Gulf Keystone, while existing shareholders would hold just 4.5 percent unless they buy new shares in the $25 million open offer for 10 percent of the expanded equity. On Tuesday, Gulf Keystone' stock rose 32 percent before erasing most of the gains. At 6 pence a share it was still at its highest since April, off last week's all-time lows of 2.5 pence. Its all-time high was 465 pence, when the firm was worth over 3 billion pounds ($4 billion). Traded volumes spiked to an all-time high of 125 million shares, meaning over 10 percent of the firm changed hands on Tuesday driven mainly by retail investors. Gulf Keystone was the most discussed stock by far on the Interactive Investor and ADVFN message boards, two of the most popular chat tools for retail investors in Britain. Theories behind the stock jump ranged from an imminent hostile takeover on an improved debt outlook to a major liquidation of short positions by bond holders because they had managed to push the restructuring through last week and no longer needed short positions as hedges for convertible bonds. "We've had some clients buying into it," said Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, adding the restructuring had diluted the share price, but had now alleviated funding concerns. "Their assets on the ground are attractive, in spite of the political instability, and there's often takeover talk surrounding Gulf Keystone," he added. He did not name a prospective bidder. MORE VOLATILITY Gulf Keystone's shareholders have yet to approve the debt swap and the drastic dilution. But the company has predicted insolvency if the deal doesn't go through. That gives the likes of Sothic and CapeView a strong chance of becoming the driving forces behind changes at Gulf Keystone. The two funds as well as GLG Partners and Taconic declined to comment. In 2015, Sothic and CapeView both participated in a similarly complicated debt refinancing after low gold prices sapped Russia-focused, London-listed miner Petropavlovsk. The firm has since become a battleground for shareholders including Russian oil-to-metals tycoon Viktor Vekselberg. Gulf Keystone has said it has had as many as 18 merger and acquisition approaches in the past but most buyers were spooked by heavy debt levels. "Hedge funds will usually be on the shareholder register for a shorter period of time compared to longer-term investors, which increases volatility," said Sam Wahab, oil and gas analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald. (Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Additional reporting by Sudip Kar Gupta; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Housing affordability has worsened in June quarter: HIA

Jul 19 2016 at 1:02 PM Housing affordability has worsened in June quarter: HIA Housing affordability has worsened Housing affordability has worsened Wolter Peeters DEFINITION of 'Affordability Index' A measure of a population's ability to afford to purchase a particular item, such as a house, indexed to the population's income. An affordability index uses the value of 100 to represent the position of someone earning a population's median income, with values above 100 indicating that an item is less likely to be affordable and values below 100 indicating that an item is more affordable. BREAKING DOWN 'Affordability Index' An affordability index is most often associated with housing costs. Housing affordability indexes often compare the cost of purchasing a home in different lacations. Points above 100 indicate that a typical family will be less likely to qualify for a mortgage on a home in the area, while a value of 100 indicates that the typical family can just barely afford to live there. Read more: Affordability Index Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/affordability-index.asp#ixzz4Epa4fFqD Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook Read more: Affordability Index Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/affordability-index.asp#ixzz4EpZspohe Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook ========================= by Su-Lin Tan Housing affordability has slid backwards, worsening over the June quarter, the Housing Industry Association's Housing Affordability Index shows. Affordability worsened the most in Melbourne after its affordability index fell 7.4 per cent. Canberra dropped 5.7 per cent, and Sydney slid 1.6 per cent. Perth's affordability was the best amongst the capital cities, as housing prices in Perth continue to fall from the mining industry decline. "Home price growth moderated in the early part of the year and the HIA Housing Affordability Index showed an improvement in affordability during the March 2016 quarter. However, in the June quarter dwelling price growth returned and the index reverted to the level we saw at the end of 2015," HIA Economist, Geordan Murray said. "The geographic variation in affordability is most evident in the comparison between Melbourne and Perth. Over the last year, the median dwelling price in Perth has fallen by 4.7 per cent while Melbourne's has grown by 11.5 per cent. This has seen the affordability index for Perth increase by 6.2 per cent over the last year, while the index for Melbourne has fallen by 6.2 per cent." Nationally, affordability fell by 3.7 per cent during the June quarter and was 2.1 per cent less favourable than the same period a year earlier. The capital city housing affordability index fell by 4.3 per cent during the quarter, while regional affordability improved. The cooling of the housing market in Sydney and Melbourne, which started late last year, has not sustained. A further cut to the cash rate this year has buoyed housing demand, while uncertainty triggered by a delayed election and world events like Brexit has increased vendors reluctance to sell and reduced the volume of established housing stock for sale. Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/housing-affordability-has-worsened-in-june-quarter-hia-20160719-gq8rdh?&utm_source=social&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn:twi-14omn0055-optim-nnn:nonpaid-27062014-social_traffic-all-organicpost-nnn-afr-o&campaign_code=nocode&promote_channel=social_twitter#ixzz4EpXd06A9 Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

Emerging Markets, Even in Turmoil, Have a Place in a Portfolio

Mutual Funds Emerging Markets, Even in Turmoil, Have a Place in a Portfolio By TIM GRAYJULY 15, 2016 Severstal’s Cherepovets Steel Mill in the Vologda region of Russia. Low prices for commodities, especially oil, have sapped stock markets in places dependent on natural resources, like Russia, making investors nervous. Credit James Hill for The New York Times Over the last five years, investors in emerging-markets mutual funds have paid plenty and gotten little in return. Emerging-markets funds lost an annualized average of 3.19 percent over the last five years, Morningstar said. Yet they are far more expensive, on average, than actively managed domestic large-cap funds, which returned about 10 percent a year annualized for the same period. Expense ratios for actively managed emerging-market funds were 1.55 percent, compared with 1.15 percent for domestic large-caps. Investors have responded by fleeing emerging markets; money is churning out of the sector’s funds and E.T.F.s. Total net outflows hit a new high in 2015, when nearly $75 billion exited, according to EPFR Global in Cambridge, Mass. Through June this year, $7 billion more has been withdrawn. The exodus is understandable, given both the returns and the worrisome headlines streaming in from around the globe. Just last month, the British referendum to leave the European Union roiled markets worldwide. MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index fell as much as the British-focused FTSE 100 in the days just after the ballots were counted. The vote was an additional bedevilment for emerging markets already made skittish by slower growth in China — some commentators fret about a real estate bubble and banking crisis there — and a political crisis in Brazil. On top of that, low prices for commodities, especially oil, sapped stock markets in places dependent on natural resources, like Russia, South America and the Middle East. The turmoil is a turnabout from just a few years ago. Then the acronym “BRIC” — for Brazil, Russia, India and China — was bandied about in investment circles as shorthand for the rise of a brash new bunch of economic powers. Lately, BRIC has become a four-letter epithet. The reaction of emerging markets to the British vote has also underscored a new reality for investors: Emerging markets no longer provide the diversification benefit they once did, said Roger A. Aliaga-Díaz, senior economist with Vanguard’s Investment Strategy Group. “Correlations have increased since the 2000s between emerging markets and developed ones,” Mr. Aliaga-Díaz said. During the surge of the 2000s, one of the attractions of emerging markets was that they tended to zig when the developed world zagged. They could buffer the ups and downs of developed markets in a diversified portfolio. To a greater extent these days, developing and developed markets have tended to move together. Portfolio managers of emerging-markets funds say today’s worries, like yesterday’s euphoria, may be exaggerated. “In terms of history, the last couple of years isn’t remarkable,” said James F. Syme, senior fund manager of the Johcm Emerging Markets Opportunities fund. “Emerging markets have always been two steps forward and one step back. In the ’80s, we had the Latin American debt crisis, and in the ’90s, the Asian tigers and then the Asia crisis. All asset classes tend to be characterized by boom and busts. Emerging markets is a riskier asset class, so the booms and busts are bigger.” Today’s economic challenges are real but manageable, said Joanne C. Irvine, a portfolio manager for the Aberdeen Emerging Markets fund. “Given the significant underperformance of emerging markets in recent years, you’d think most of the countries were in crisis, but the economies and corporate balance sheets are mostly in reasonably good shape,” she said. “Global growth has been very weak, and that’s led to weak emerging-market exports.” Even so, many emerging countries remain healthier than developed ones, with higher growth rates and lower debt levels, she said. And many of them have young, growing populations striving to join the world’s middle class. China’s economy has been the engine of the developing world, but after a two-decade surge, growth there is slowing as the country shifts from an export-led economy to a consumer-driven one like the United States, said Arjun Jayaraman, co-portfolio manager of the Causeway Emerging Markets fund. “They’re going from a growth rate of high single digits to, realistically, 3 to 4 percent a year,” he said. The Chinese government’s official growth target is 6.5 to 7 percent this year. Photo Workers at the Cherepovets Steel Mill in the control room of the Severyanka blast furnace, once the largest in the world. Credit James Hill for The New York Times That slowdown has caused worldwide commodity prices to sag. When China was investing heavily in infrastructure and industrialization, commodity producers thrived; now they’re pinched. A strong dollar has meted out additional pain. Many companies and countries in the developing world borrow money in dollars, so a stronger dollar increases the real cost of their debts, said David Semple, portfolio manager of the VanEck Emerging Markets Equity. A stronger dollar also hurts the returns of American investors because the returns of emerging-market companies, denominated in weaker local currencies, must be translated into dollars. “For emerging markets, the precondition for them doing better is for the dollar to not accelerate strongly,” he said. The emerging-markets sector is split by the debate over active management versus indexing just as every sector is. Much of the discussion comes down to costs: It’s usually cheaper to run an index fund than an active one, and costs eat away at investors’ bottom line. The average emerging-markets index fund carries an expense ratio of 0.52 percent, compared with the 1.55 percent charge levied by the average actively managed emerging-markets fund, according to Morningstar. Some of the better-known index funds levy even lower fees. The Vanguard Emerging Markets stock index fund charges 0.33 percent for its investor shares, while BlackRock’s iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets E.T.F. charges 0.16 percent. For the most part, the higher costs for active management haven’t translated into better performance, said Todd L. Rosenbluth, director of E.T.F. and mutual fund research for S&P Global Market Intelligence. Based on trailing returns, two-thirds of emerging markets funds underperformed S.&P.’s emerging-markets index over the one, three and five years ending in December 2015, he said. “On the positive side, that means one out of three did outperform,” he said. “There’s some value to active management, but the cheaper your actively managed fund can be, the better,” he said. Costs aside, Patricia Oey, a senior analyst for Morningstar, said that active funds aren’t locked into the country allocations required by index funds. Both the Vanguard and iShares funds, for example, allocate about a quarter of their assets to Chinese stocks. That amount could grow in coming years, because China’s domestic A-share market is opening to foreign investors, she said. Given the heft of China’s economy — the world’s second-largest, after the United States — index providers might opt to include more Chinese companies. A way in which some emerging-markets managers avoid overexposure to any particular country is by also investing in developed-world multinationals that sell into the emerging world. Sammy Simnegar, portfolio manager of the Fidelity Emerging Markets Fund, takes that approach. As of the end of April, about 20 percent of his fund’s assets were developed-world stocks. He said that too many of the biggest, best-known companies in emerging markets, especially in China, are state-owned enterprises, which he shies away from. “In my view, those aren’t run for shareholders — they’re run for the state,” he said. “I’d rather invest in an A. O. Smith, a U.S. company that makes water heaters. About a third of their revenue is from emerging markets, particularly India and China.” Just as portfolio managers damp risk by diversifying, individual investors can do the same with their personal portfolios. Ms. Oey of Morningstar said holding 10 percent of a stock portfolio, mirroring the proportion of emerging markets in the world’s stock market capitalization, would make sense for a long-term investor. A person with 60 percent of her money in stocks would then put 6 percent in emerging markets. Campbell R. Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University, said he saw 10 percent as a floor, not a ceiling. In a 2014 paper, professors Harvey and Geert Bekaert of Columbia University noted that emerging markets account for about 30 percent of world G.D.P. Thus, they wrote, “Strategic allocations somewhere in between market capitalization weights and G.D.P. weights are easy to defend.” Whatever else investors do, they should guard against the tendency to dump their holdings based on recent discouraging news or weak returns, Professor Harvey said. “The biggest mistake retail investors make is selling stocks if they go down and buying the ones that have gone up,” he said. “This holds true for asset classes, too,” he added. “Just because emerging-markets equity has had low returns recently does not mean you should sell. One-third of world G.D.P. is being driven by emerging-market economies, and it makes sense that a globally diversified portfolio should have exposure to them.” A version of this article appears in print on July 17, 2016, on page BU16 of the New York edition with the headline: An Exit From Emerging Markets May Be Hasty. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

Friday, July 15, 2016

Attempted Coup in Turkey, Live Stream and Videos from Ankara

Ankara parliament building ‘bombed from air’ – state agency ==================== Fri Jul 15, 2016 | 10:17 PM EDT Factbox: Coups and plots in Turkey over past 50 years Factbox: Coups and plots in Turkey over past 50...X (Reuters) - Here are some details about the military coups in the last 50 years, which have unseated four elected governments in Turkey: 1960: -- On May 2, an almost bloodless military coup was carried out, led by officers and cadets from the Istanbul and Ankara war colleges. -- The next day, the commander of land forces, General Cemal Gursel, demanded political reforms and resigned when his demands were refused. -- The leaders established a 38-member National Unity Committee with Gursel as chairman. Of 601 people tried, 464 were found guilty. Three former ministers, including Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, were executed and 12 others, including President Celal Bayar, had death sentences commuted to life imprisonment. * 1971 - The "Coup by Memorandum": -- The military delivered a warning to the government to restore order after months of strikes and street fighting between leftists and nationalists. Some months later, Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel stepped down and a coalition of conservative politicians and technocrats set to restore order under the supervision of the military. Martial law was established in several provinces and not completely lifted until September 1973. * 1980: -- On Sept. 12, 1980, the senior command of the army led by General Kenan Evren, carried out a coup. The action followed a resurgence of street fighting between leftists and nationalists. Leading politicians were arrested, and parliament, political parties, and trade unions were dissolved. A five-member National Security Council took control, suspending the constitution and implementing a provisional constitution that gave almost unlimited power to military commanders. ADVERTISEMENT * 1997 - The "Post-Modern Coup": -- On June 18, 1997 Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, denounced by opponents as a danger to the country's secular order, stepped down under pressure from the military, business, the judiciary and fellow politicians. The generals saw themselves compelled to act to defend the secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. * 2007 -- The shadowy Ergenekon group first came to light when a cache of explosives was discovered in a police raid on an Istanbul house. Eventually hundreds of people went on trial for an alleged coup attempt against then-prime minister Tayyip Erdogan, and 275 officers, journalists, lawyers and more were found guilty. The verdicts were all overturned this year after the appeals court ruled a network called Ergenekon was not proven to exist. Erdogan, who became president in 2014, initially supported the prosecution but later blamed police and prosecutors who belong to a religious movement led by Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania for faking the conspiracy. He denies playing any role. * 2010 -- A newspaper revealed a secularist coup plot, dubbed Sledgehammer, that reportedly dated back to 2003, aimed at fomenting social chaos to topple Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party. In 2012, a court jailed 300 of the 365 defendants. Two years later, almost all of those convicted were freed after the Constitutional Court ruled their rights had been violated. Again, Gulen's followers were blamed for the case, which they deny. (Compiling by Andrew Heavens and Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Alison Williams) ================================================ Fri Jul 15, 2016 | 10:17 PM EDT Factbox: Turkey's attempted coup People surround a Turkish army tank in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Tumay Berkin People surround a Turkish army tank in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/Tumay Berkin Factbox: Turkey's attempted coup (Reuters) - Below is a timeline of breaking events in Turkey on Friday. All times in GMT, based on the times Reuters reported the events. Reuters does not vouch for events reported by other media. 2352 - Turkish PM says situation under control, blames Gulen movement, declares no-fly zone over Ankara. A U.S.-based organization close to Gulen earlier denied involvement. 2339 - Bomb hits parliament in Ankara, state-run Anadolu Agency says. Reuters witness hears blast in Istanbul. 2320 - Kerry says emphasized "absolute support for Turkey's democratically elected, civilian government and democratic institutions" in phone call with Turkish foreign minister. 2313 - Group close to U.S.-based cleric Gulen says accusations it was involved in coup attempt are "highly irresponsible". Condemns military intervention in Turkish politics, says concerned about safety of citizens. 2305 - President Obama says he and Secretary of State Kerry agree that all parties in Turkey should support elected government. Urges restraint, avoidance of bloodshed - White House statement. 2304 - State-run Anadolu Agency says 17 police killed at Ankara special forces HQ; no independent confirmation 2259 - Turkish fighter jet shoots down military helicopter used by coup-plotters over Ankara, broadcaster NTV says. 2251 - Commander of special forces says a group has engaged in treason, they will not succeed. Says military does not condone coup. 2247 - PM says gangs and illegal formations are behind coup attempt, and calls it a terrorist act. He says government remains in charge. Urges people to take to the streets. 2237 - Commander of Turkey's First Army, part of land forces responsible for Istanbul and other western areas, said those attempting a coup were a small faction and "nothing to worry about". 2226 - Two loud explosions heard in center of Turkish capital 2208 - Tanks surround Turkish parliament building, open fire. Gunfire heard at Istanbul airport. 2203 - Turkish justice minister says members of a movement loyal to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen in the army are behind the attempted coup. 2151 - A military helicopter opens fire over the Turkish capital Ankara, witnesses report an explosion in the capital. 2135 - Turkish state broadcaster TRT goes off air, but later starts broadcasting from London. 2126 - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan urges people to take to the streets to protest against what he describes as a coup attempt by a minority faction within the military. Speaking to a CNN Turk reporter via a cellphone video link he says it will meet a "necessary response". He says he is returning to the capital Ankara. 2122 - Turkish PM says on Twitter everything will be done to put down coup attempt, even if it means fatalities. Says sieges are under way at some important buildings, without specifying, but urges people to remain calm. 2118 - Presidential source says president and government are still in power. 2105 - Turkish state broadcaster says reading statement on the orders of the military - that new constitution will be prepared, accuses government of eroding democratic and secular rule of law, that the country is being run by a "peace council", that martial law imposed, curfew imposed across the country. 2102 - Head of Istanbul branch of Turkey's ruling AK Party says soldiers enter party building, told to go. 2058 - Soldiers are inside buildings of Turkish state broadcaster TRT in Ankara, TRT correspondent tells Reuters. 2057 - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media restricted in Turkey, say internet monitoring groups. 2049 - Turkish presidential source says statement made on behalf of armed forces was not authorized by military command. 2047 - Turkish chief of military staff among hostages taken at military headquarters in Ankara, says state-run Anadolu agency. 2038 - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is safe, reports CNN Turk. 2025 - Turkish military says has taken power to protect democratic order. In a statement sent by email and reported on Turkish TV channels, the military says all of Turkey's existing foreign relations will be maintained. 2002 - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says attempted coup under way, calls for calm. He says a group within Turkey's military has attempted to overthrow the government and security forces have been called in to "do what is necessary". 1950 - Gunshots are heard in Ankara, military jets and helicopters seen flying overhead. Helicopters seen overhead in Istanbul. 1929 - Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge are both closed. Dogan News Agency footage shows cars and buses being diverted. (Compiled by Andrew Heavens; Editing by Alison Williams) ========================================== Published time: 15 Jul, 2016 23:46 Edited time: 16 Jul, 2016 00:08 Get short URL Turkish army tanks drive on a street in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Tumay Berkin Turkish army tanks drive on a street in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Tumay Berkin / Reuters Turkish state-run network Anadolu Agency reported that a bomb hit the Turkish parliament building in the capital of Ankara. FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES According to Anadolu, the bomb has been "thrown" by the coup supporters. An explosion has been confirmed by deputies in the parliament building, Hurriyet Daily News reported. Turkey army says it seizes power; Erdogan says: "We will overcome this" July 16, 2016 A Turkish military stands guard near the Taksim Square in Istanbul View photos A Turkish military stands guard near the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey. REUTERS/Murad Sezer More By Nick Tattersall and Tulay Karadeniz ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's military said on Friday it had seized power but President Tayyip Erdogan vowed that the attempted coup would be put down. If successful, the overthrow of Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would be one of the biggest shifts in the Middle East in years, transforming one of the most important U.S. allies in the region while war rages on its border. "We will overcome this," Erdogan said, speaking on a video call to a mobile phone held up to the camera by an announcer on the Turkish sister station of CNN. He called on his followers to take to the streets to defend his government and said the coup plotters would pay a heavy price. An official said Erdogan was speaking from Marmaris on the Turkish coast where he was on holiday. Erdogan said he would swiftly return to Ankara. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the elected government remained in office. However, it appeared that those behind the coup had the upper hand initially. Airports were shut, access to Internet social media sites was cut off, and troops sealed off the two bridges over the Bosphorus in Istanbul, one of which was still lit up red, white and blue in solidarity with victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in France a day earlier. Warplanes and helicopters roared over the capital Ankara. An explosion was heard in Ankara, where a helicopter opened fire. Soldiers took control of TRT state television, which announced a countrywide curfew and martial law. An announcer read a statement on the orders of the military that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law. The country would be run by a "peace council" that would ensure the safety of the population, the statement said. TRT later went off the air. The state-run Anadolu news agency said the chief of Turkey's military staff was among people taken "hostage" in the capital Ankara. CNN Turk also reported that hostages were being held at the military headquarters. NOT A TINPOT COUP A senior EU source monitoring the situation said: "It looks like a relatively well orchestrated coup by a significant body of the military, not just a few colonels. They've got control of the airports and are expecting control over the TV station imminently. They control several strategic points in Istanbul. "Given the scale of the operation, it is difficult to imagine they will stop short of prevailing. It's not just a few colonels," the source repeated. One European diplomat was dining with the Turkish ambassador to a European capital when guests were interrupted by the pinging of urgent news on their mobile phones. "This is clearly not some tinpot little coup. The Turkish ambassador was clearly shocked and is taking it very seriously," the diplomat told Reuters as the dinner party broke up. "However it looks in the morning, this will have massive implications for Turkey. This has not come out of nowhere." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking jointly after talks in Moscow, both said they hoped bloodshed would be avoided. The U.S. State Department said Americans in Turkey should shelter indoors. Other countries issued similar advice. Turkey, a NATO member with the second biggest military in the Western alliance, is one of the most important allies of the United States in the fight against Islamic State, which seized swathes of neighboring Iraq and Syria. Turkey is one of the main backers of opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country's civil war, host to 2.7 million Syrian refugees and launchpad last year for the biggest influx of migrants to Europe since World War Two. Celebratory gunfire erupted in Syria's capital Damascus as reports emerged that Erdogan had been toppled, and people took the streets to celebrate there and in the government-held section of the divided city of Aleppo. Turkey has been at war with Kurdish separatists, and has suffered numerous bombing and shooting attacks this year, including an attack two weeks ago by Islamists at Istanbul's main airport that killed more than 40 people. In an earlier statement sent by email and reported on TV channels, the military said it had taken power to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights. All of Turkey's existing foreign relations would be maintained and the rule of law would remain the priority, it said. After serving as prime minister from 2003, Erdogan was elected president in 2014 with plans to alter the constitution to give the previously ceremonial presidency far greater executive powers. His opponents say his rule has become increasingly authoritarian. His AK Party, with roots in Islamism, has long had a strained relationship with the military and nationalists in a state that was founded on secularist principles after World War One. The military has a history of mounting coups to defend secular principles, but has not seized power directly since 1980. Prime Minister Yildirim said a group within Turkey's military had attempted to overthrow the government and security forces have been called in to "do what is necessary". "Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command," Yildirim said in comments broadcast by private channel NTV. "The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so." (Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley, Nick Tattersall, David Dolan, Akin Aytekin and Orhan Coskun; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Catherine Evans) ##انقلاب_تركيا To clarify, the Turkish army & Kemalists are just as bad as Erdogan (if not worse). This is simply schadenfreude. Turkish military claims it has taken over the country, deposing President Erdogan “in the name of human rights.” Helicopters and military jets were seen flying low above Istanbul and Ankara, and tanks rolling in the streets. Martial law has been declared and a curfew imposed. Erdogan making a statement on facetime right now. pic.twitter.com/F1Nip0C01V ======================== The Latest: Report: Turkey soldiers fire on people on bridge Jul. 15, 2016 6:46 PM EDT 0 11 photos APTOPIX Turkey Military Coup Turkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest... Read more ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on what appears to be an attempted military coup in Turkey (all times local): 1:40 a.m. Turkish news agency Dogan has reported that soldiers have opened fired on people trying to cross Istanbul's Bosporus bridge in protest of the attempted coup, and some have been wounded. TV footage showed people running for cover as shots rang out. Earlier, a statement attributed to the military said that Turkish armed forces have "fully seized control" of the country. Sponsored Links 19 Giant Dogs That Are Real PressRoomVIP This Is the Worst Game to Get Addicted To Sparta Free Online Game President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then called on citizens to take to the streets in a show of support for the government. ___ 1:35 a.m. Turkey's Istanbul-based first army commander says the soldiers involved in an attempted coup "represent a small group" and "there is no cause for concern," according to the state-run Anadolu Agency. An earlier statement attributed to the military said that Turkish armed forces have "fully seized control" of the country. But First Army Commander Umit Dundar told Anadolu that "we are working to solve the problem here. They represent a small group within the First Army Command. There is no cause for concern. We are taking the necessary precautions with (soldiers) who have not joined them and remain within the military chain of command." President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on citizens to take to the streets in a show of support for the government. ___ 1:30 a.m. Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala says very effective units from the chief of general staff's office, the Turkish armed forces and the police are responding to the attempted coup in the country. Ala says they are responding to "gangs who have taken cover in certain locations." He spoke by telephone to NTV television and also encouraged Turkish citizens to "fearlessly go out and support our security forces." He says: "We think it would be right for them to go out to the airports, to the streets, especially to the main arteries. As long as they do that this gang's attempts... they will be defeated no matter what." He added "this is a gang that considers nothing sacred, not the people or the nation. They're taking certain actions." ___ 1:15 a.m. NATO hasn't responded immediately to a request for comment on how alliance operations or Turkey's status might be affected after the military said it seized control of the country. Independent observers noted that the 1949 treaty that created the U.S. alliance has no mechanism for suspending members, unlike the United Nations, the European Union or the Organization of American States. Nothing in NATO's founding 1949 Washington Treaty says anything about intervening in the internal or political affairs of an alliance member, and Turkey kept its NATO membership following past military coups. The treaty's key clause, Article 5, stipulates that NATO member states agree that "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all," but that language has taken to apply to an external enemy. ___ 1:10 a.m. Loud explosions have been heard in Turkey's capital Ankara and CNN-Turk reports an explosion occurred at the state-run television building. Turkey's state-run news agency report military helicopters have also attacked the headquarters of TURKSAT satellite station on the outskirts of Ankara and the Ankara Police headquarters. Dozens of tanks were seen moving toward a palace that is now used by the prime minister and deputy prime ministers. A civilian car tried to stop one of the tanks, but it rammed through the vehicle as those in the car escaped. ___ 12:50 a.m. Turkey's president has urged citizens to take to the streets in a show of support for the government after the military said it seized full control of the country. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to CNN-Turk through FaceTime, called the actions by the military "an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces." The president's office refused to disclose Erdogan's whereabouts, saying he was at a secure location. Erdogan said "I don't believe this coup attempt will be successful." Erdogan added: "There is absolutely no chain of command here. Right now the chain of command has been put on hold." ___ 12:35 a.m. The White House says President Barack Obama has been briefed on developments in key NATO ally Turkey where the military claims to have seized power in a coup. The National Security Council said Obama had been apprised of Friday "unfolding situation" in Turkey and would continue to get regular updates. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he hopes for stability and continuity in Turkey following the reports. Kerry, in Moscow for talks with Russian officials on Syria on Friday, told reporters he didn't have details of the situation rapidly unfolding on the ground in Turkey and said it would be "inappropriate" to comment on developments. But, he expressed hope that the key ally and strategically important member of the coalition fighting the Islamic State would remain at peace. ___ 12:25 a.m. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials have called on their countrymen in Turkey to stay indoors amid uncertainty about whether a military coup is taking place. Lavrov made the statement early Saturday at a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. However, Lavrov, who had been in lengthy talks with Kerry, said he had little information about what was taking place in Turkey. Russia's tourism authority issued a similar warning. Turkey had long been a popular vacation destination for Russians, but the numbers dropped sharply last year when Russia banned package tours to Turkey amid tensions over Turkey shooting down a Russian warplane and it was unclear how many Russians currently are in the country. ___ 12:20 a.m. A Turkish military statement read on state TRT television says the military has seized power, citing rising autocratic rule and increased terrorism. But CNN-Turk has quoted Defense Minister Fikri Isik as describing it as a "pirate statement." Earlier, another statement published by the private Dogan news agency says that the military has "fully seized control" of the country. ___ 11:45 p.m. A Turkish news agency has published a statement from the military saying the armed forces have "fully seized control" of the country. The Dogan agency reported that the statement said that the military did this "to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated." The military statement went on to say that "all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue." ___ 11:10 p.m. Turkey's prime minister says a group within Turkey's military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup. Binali Yildirim told NTV television: "it is correct that there was an attempt." Yildirim didn't provide details, but said Turkey would never allow any "initiative that would interrupt democracy." Earlier, military jets were heard flying over the capital, Ankara. Media reports said ambulances were seen in front of the Turkey's military headquarters. =============== Twitter | Search Home Connect Trends Me M2_tab_indicator Tweet Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 2h BREAKING: Israeli Foreign Ministry advises all Israeli nationals in Turkey to stay indoors, and advises against travel to Turkey. View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 2h RIGHT NOW: Military helicopter is shooting at the Turkish State TV HQ. Loud explosions heard in Ankara. View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 2h BREAKING FOOTAGE: Tank attempts to head towards Prime Minister's Palace, tank is blocked by Erdogan supporters. pic.twitter.com/y7IXjmmWMk View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 2h BREAKING FOOTAGE: Military helicopter in Ankara shoots at Turkish State TV HQ. pic.twitter.com/LrhyQpLlli View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 2h RIGHT NOW: Erdogan supporters fill square in Ankara, defying curfew enforced by military. pic.twitter.com/ST2gZk5pk4 View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 2h BREAKING PHOTO: Huge explosion in Ankara as smoke rises over the Turkish capital. pic.twitter.com/vsg8Rdz4I6 View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 2h RIGHT NOW: Huge demonstration in Ankara by Erdogan supporters against the military coup. Some blocking tanks. pic.twitter.com/3GXcrsVCUV View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 1h BREAKING FOOTAGE: Military jet flying at incredibly low altitude over protests against the coup in Ankara. pic.twitter.com/TpwvRDiTej View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 1h BREAKING VIDEO: Police in Istanbul have arrested soldiers taking part in coup. Police mainly remain loyal to Erdogan pic.twitter.com/2YSFvBEzKH View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 1h BREAKING FOOTAGE: Military helicopter is firing at targets on the ground in Ankara. pic.twitter.com/lAmrZlNN74 View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 1h BREAKING: 17 Turkish officers have been killed in a helicopter attack on police special forces headquarters in Ankara. View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 56m BREAKING FOOTAGE: Pro-Erdogan protesters disarm coup-backing military soldiers in Ankara. pic.twitter.com/6ZNLSfMo2x View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst BREAKING FOOTAGE: Military tank hijacked by pro-Erdogan supporters in Ankara. pic.twitter.com/ielaXuhNS1 4:37 PM - 15 Jul 2016 Twitter by: Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 21 Retweets 7 Likes Reply Retweet Like More Ezio Auditore Ezio Auditore @Malkovitze 34m @IsraelNewsFirst twitter.com/agirecudi/stat… View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 32m BREAKING FOOTAGE: Building in Ankara attacked by military aircraft. pic.twitter.com/gEvBopD5F7 View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 28m BREAKING: Loud explosion heard in Istanbul. Details to follow. View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 23m BREAKING: Turkish Parliament in Ankara has reportedly been bombed from the air. View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 10m BREAKING: Turkish government declares a no-fly zone over Ankara. They say any jet or helicopter over Ankara will be shot down. View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 4m BREAKING FOOTAGE: Military fighter jets conducting airstrikes in Ankara. pic.twitter.com/zgxcWSyKYa View conversation · Reply Retweet Like Israel News First Israel News First @IsraelNewsFirst 14s BREAKING: Damage caused to the Turkish Parliament in Ankara after it was bombed. pic.twitter.com/FNdBhMM5W1 ============================================================== Sat Jul 16, 2016 | 12:42 AM EDT Turkish coup bid crumbles as crowds answer call to streets, Erdogan returns 5h ago | 01:22 Turkey's president urges people to head to streets to protest coup Turkish coup bid crumbles as crowds answer call to...X By Nick Tattersall and Ece Toksabay | ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) - An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble in the early hours of Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets to support him. Erdogan, who had been holidaying on the southwest coast when the coup was launched by a faction in the armed forces, flew into Istanbul before dawn on Saturday and was shown on TV appearing among a crowd of supporters outside Ataturk Airport. The uprising was an "act of treason", and those responsible would pay a heavy price, he later told reporters at a hastily arranged news conference. Arrests of officers were under way, and it would go higher up the ranks, culminating in the cleansing of the military, he said. Soldiers took control of the airport soon after Erdogan had landed, Reuters witnesses said. A senior official later said the soldiers were loyal to the government. Rebel soldiers who had taken control of military aircraft were still firing from the air early on Saturday and fighter jets had been scrambled to intercept them, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, underscoring the chaotic situation. Gunfire and explosions rocked both the main city Istanbul and capital Ankara in a chaotic night after soldiers took up positions in both cities and ordered state television to read out a statement declaring they had taken power. A senior official said 42 people had been killed in the violence in Ankara alone, most of them civilians. More deaths were also reported in Istanbul. Early on Saturday, Reuters journalists saw around 30 pro-coup soldiers surrender their weapons after being surrounded by armed police in Istanbul's central Taksim square. They were taken away in police vans as a fighter jet repeatedly screeched overhead at low altitude, causing a boom that shook surrounding buildings and shattered windows. A successful overthrow of Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003, would have marked one of the biggest shifts in the Middle East in years, transforming one of the most important U.S. allies while war rages on its border. A failed coup attempt could still destabilise a pivotal country. Before returning to Istanbul, Erdogan appeared in a video call to the studio of the Turkish sister channel of CNN, where an announcer held up a mobile phone to the camera to show him. He called on Turks to take to the streets to defend his government and said the coup plotters would pay a heavy price. LAWMAKERS IN HIDING By the early hours of Saturday, lawmakers were still hiding in shelters inside the parliament building in Ankara, which was being fired on by tanks. Smoke rose up from nearby, Reuters witnesses said. An opposition MP told Reuters parliament was hit three times and that people had been wounded. A Turkish military commander said fighter jets had shot down a helicopter used by the coup plotters over Ankara. State-run Anadolu news agency said 17 police were killed at special forces headquarters there. Momentum turned against the coup plotters as the night wore on. Crowds defied orders to stay indoors, gathering at major squares in Istanbul and Ankara, waving flags and chanting. ADVERTISEMENT "We have a prime minister, we have a chief of command, we're not going to leave this country to degenerates," shouted one man, as groups of government supporters climbed onto a tank near Ataturk airport. Erdogan and other officials blamed the attempted coup on followers of Fethullah Gulen, an influential cleric in self-imposed exile in the United States who once supported Erdogan but became a nemesis. The pro-Gulen Alliance for Shared Values said it condemned any military intervention in domestic politics. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he phoned the Turkish foreign minister and emphasised "absolute support for Turkey's democratically elected, civilian government and democratic institutions". The coup began with warplanes and helicopters roaring over Ankara and troops moving in to seal off the bridges over the Bosphorus Strait that links Europe and Asia in Istanbul. Authorities had shut the strait to tanker traffic, shipping agent GAC said. Reuters reporters saw a helicopter open fire in Ankara. Anadolu said military helicopters had fired on the headquarters of the intelligence agency. ‹ Turkish military stand guard in the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard in the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square as people wave with Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square as people wave with Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen amid his supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen amid his supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/Huseyin Aldemir A tank is seen in front of the gate of the General Staff headquarters during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer A tank is seen in front of the gate of the General Staff headquarters during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/Stringer Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July16, 2016. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July16, 2016. Reuters/Huseyin Aldemir Turkish soldiers surrender their weapons to policemen during an attempted coup in Istanbul's Taksim Square, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish soldiers surrender their weapons to policemen during an attempted coup in Istanbul's Taksim Square, Turkey, July 16, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer Turkish soldiers surrender to policemen during an attempted coup in Istanbul's Taksim Square, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish soldiers surrender to policemen during an attempted coup in Istanbul's Taksim Square, Turkey, July 16, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer People react near a military vehicle during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Tumay Berkin People react near a military vehicle during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey, July 16, 2016. Reuters/Tumay Berkin REFILE - CORRECTING HEADLINE - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to media in the resort town of Marmaris, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Kenan Gurbuz REFILE - CORRECTING HEADLINE - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to media in the resort town of Marmaris, Turkey, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Kenan Gurbuz A Turkish army tank drives on a street in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer A Turkish army tank drives on a street in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/Stringer People stand on a Turkish army tank at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/ALDEMIR People stand on a Turkish army tank at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/ALDEMIR Still frame taken from amateur video obtained by Reuters on July 16, 2016 shows a tank driving past people, in Ankara, Turkey. Amateur Video/ via REUTERS TV Still frame taken from amateur video obtained by Reuters on July 16, 2016 shows a tank driving past people, in Ankara, Turkey. Amateur Video/ via Reuters TV People take cover near a bridge during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Yagiz Karahan People take cover near a bridge during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/Yagiz Karahan A policeman aims his weapon in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kemal Aslan A policeman aims his weapon in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/Kemal Aslan A crowd gathers near a wrecked police vehicle at military headquarters in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer A crowd gathers near a wrecked police vehicle at military headquarters in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. Reuters/Stringer Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan are dispersed with shots in the air by the military at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan are dispersed with shots in the air by the military at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer A Turkish military stands guard in the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer A Turkish military stands guard in the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer Turkish military block access to the Bosphorus bridge, which links the city's European and Asian sides, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer Turkish military block access to the Bosphorus bridge, which links the city's European and Asian sides, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Stringer Turkish military block access to the Bosphorus bridge, which links the city's European and Asian sides, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer Turkish military block access to the Bosphorus bridge, which links the city's European and Asian sides, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Stringer Turkish military discuss with people at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish military discuss with people at the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard in the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard in the Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square as people wave with Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square as people wave with Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer › SOCIAL MEDIA CUT OFF Airports were shut and access to internet social media sites was cut off in the first hours of the coup attempt. Soldiers took control of TRT state television, which announced a countrywide curfew and martial law. An announcer read a statement on the orders of the military that accused the government of eroding the democratic and secular rule of law. Turkey would be run by a "peace council" that would ensure the safety of the population, the statement said. TRT went off the air shortly afterwards. It resumed broadcasting in the early hours of Saturday. Anadolu said the chief of Turkey's military staff was among people taken "hostage" in the capital Ankara but Prime Minister Yildirim later said he was back in control. The coup had appeared strong early on Friday evening. A senior EU source monitoring the situation said: "It looks like a relatively well-orchestrated coup by a significant body of the military, not just a few colonels ... They control several strategic points in Istanbul." One European diplomat was dining with the Turkish ambassador to a European capital when guests were interrupted by the pinging of urgent news on their mobile phones. Related Coverage At least 60 killed in attempted military coup in Turkey: senior official Erdogan supporters attack surrendering Turkish pro-coup soldiers: witness Pro-coup faction of Turkish military says still fighting: statement Turkey appoints acting military chief, whereabouts of predecessor unknown -official Turkey detains 336 people nationwide in connection with coup attempt - minister U.S. urges support of Turkey government as world watches coup Group close to Gulen denies involvement in Turkey coup bid Coup bid in Turkey carried live on social media despite blockages Fact BoxTurkey's attempted coup Fact BoxCoups and plots in Turkey over past 50 years SlideshowTurkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square in Istanbul VideoAK Party supporters protest against Turkish soldiers in Istanbul VideoTurkish soldiers detained by police in Ankara VideoPeople take cover in Istanbul as gunshots are fired amid attempted coup in Turkey "This is clearly not some tinpot little coup. The Turkish ambassador was clearly shocked and is taking it very seriously," the diplomat told Reuters as the dinner party broke up. "However it looks in the morning, this will have massive implications for Turkey. This has not come out of nowhere." Turkey, a NATO member with the second biggest military in the Western alliance, is one of the most important allies of the United States in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, which seized swaths of neighbouring Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon said there was no impact on operations against Islamic State from the U.S. air base at Incirlik in Turkey. Turkey is also one of the main backers of opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country's civil war, host to 2.7 million Syrian refugees and launchpad last year for the biggest influx of migrants to Europe since World War Two. Celebratory gunfire erupted in Syria's capital Damascus after the army claimed to have toppled Erdogan. People took to the streets to celebrate there and in other government-held cities. Turkey has been at war with Kurdish separatists and has suffered numerous bombing and shooting attacks this year, including an attack two weeks ago by Islamists at Ataturk airport that killed more than 40 people. After serving as prime minister from 2003, Erdogan was elected president in 2014 with plans to alter the constitution to give the previously ceremonial presidency far greater executive powers. Turkey has enjoyed an economic boom during his time in office and has dramatically expanded its influence across the region. However, opponents say his rule has become increasingly authoritarian. His AK Party, with roots in Islamism, has long had a strained relationship with the military and nationalists in a state that was founded on secularist principles after World War One. The military has a history of mounting coups to defend secularism, but has not seized power directly since 1980. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Ayla Jean Yackley, Nick Tattersall, David Dolan, Akin Aytekin, Tulay Karadeniz, Can Sezer, Gulsen Solaker, Ece Toksabay, Murad Sezer, Ercan Gurses, Nevzat Devranoglu, Dasha Afanasieva, Birsen Altayli and Orhan Coskun; Writing by Peter Graff and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Catherine Evans, Mary Milliken and Paul Tait) =========================================================== Home/News/ Military coup in Turkey Live updates Published time: 15 Jul, 2016 20:33 Edited time: 16 Jul, 2016 03:44 Get short URL People stand on a Turkish army tank at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. © Reuters People stand on a Turkish army tank at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. © Reuters Dozens of people have been killed in an attempted military coup in Turkey. Anti-Erdogan military seized government buildings, bombed the Parliament and took over media bureaus. However, thousands of people flooded onto the streets across Turkey as Erdogan vowed to respond. Trends Military coup in Turkey READ MORE: At least 60 dead in attempted Turkish coup as shootouts continue in Ankara & Istanbul 16 July 2016 06:05 GMT Iran has suspended all the flights to Turkey, the deputy director of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport was quoted as saying by Iranian state media. “We will revise the situation to resume the flights when we have the latest information,” Koroush Fattahi said. 05:59 GMT 05:53 GMT 05:50 GMT 05:49 GMT South Korea’s Foreign Ministry advised its citizens to cancel planned trips to Turkey in the wake of the attempted coup. “The government expresses grave concern about the situation arising from actions by a part of Turkish military and hopes the situation is swiftly brought under control through enforcement of democratic and constitutional order and stability is restored,” it said. 05:48 GMT 05:44 GMT At least 16 coup plotters have been killed in clashes at Turkey’s military police command in Ankara, Turkey’s Police Chief, Celalettin Lekesiz, told AP, adding that some 250 people had been detained. Clashes at the command are continuing, but “are about to come to an end,” he added. 05:36 GMT 05:35 GMT Turkish military chief of staff who was reportedly taken hostage during coup attempt has been rescued, a senior official told Reuters. 05:30 GMT At least 754 members of the armed forces have been detained over the coup attempt, Reuters reported, citing a Turkish official. 05:30 GMT At least 754 members of the armed forces have been detained over the coup attempt, Reuters reported, citing a Turkish official. 05:28 GMT 05:26 GMT Another official stated that 29 colonels and five generals were removed from their posts following the coup attempt. 05:26 GMT Pro-government forces currently control Turkey’s military headquarters, a senior Turkish official told Reuters, adding that small groups of soldiers backing the coup attempt are still resisting and control several military helicopters. 05:25 GMT Turkey’s coup attempt has exposed a deep division between the people and the nation’s army, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, while calling for constitutional order to be restored. “What happened in Turkey still needs to be analyzed as the situation continues to unfold… It is essential to restore constitutional order on Turkish territory, so that all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by their legislation are complied with.” 05:25 GMT 05:22 GMT 05:21 GMT A total of about 800 people are in hospitals, including some 200 in Ankara, President of Red Crescent Turkey Dr Kerem Kinik said. 05:15 GMT 05:09 GMT EU hopes to keep Ankara as a “key partner” following a coup attempt in Turkey, said European Council President Donald Tusk, adding that these events will have a significant impact on the region. “A military coup has no place in Turkey. Disputes cannot be solved with guns. Events continue to unfold, and the situation is still far from stabilization,” Tusk said. “The key question is what Turkey will come out of this crisis. Consequences will be crucial for the region and for the relations with the EU. Our hope is to keep Turkey as a key partner in all dimensions.” ========================================================================= Breakingviews on Twitter breakingviews.com breakingviews.com Search the Archive Sunday, 17 July 2016 Sign In Request Trial Home Columns Features Videos Books Calculators About Us ▶Home ▶Considered View ▶Turkey’s failed coup leaves no victors Crackdown 16 July 2016 By Andy Critchlow People wave Turkish flags as they celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis President Tayyip Erdogan’s government has few reasons for triumphalism after surviving an attempted military coup. Political uncertainty and economic damage now awaits a strategically important U.S. and European Union ally that is the gateway to the Middle East. Erdogan will no doubt swiftly try to restore confidence in his government, though remnants of the uprising by a faction of the military were still being suppressed on July 16. But foreign capital is set to flee, and all the more quickly if he resorts to harsh reprisals. The Turkish lira fell 5 percent to a three-week low in late U.S. trading on July 15 and further declines are likely. This will be a worry for a country whose gross external debt rose to 56 percent of GDP last year, with a third of the stock of such debt maturing in 12 months or sooner, according to the International Monetary Fund. Companies and banks may find it hard to roll over external debt. Any credit crunch would exacerbate the economic damage that the failed coup is already bound to inflict. About 500,000 people are employed in tourism, which accounts for roughly 5 percent of GDP. The failed coup and its aftermath will harm an industry already blighted by the country’s tensions with Russia and a series of bomb attacks. The economy has so far been resilient despite these problems and its exposure to the nearby conflict in Syria, which include absorbing more than a couple of million refugees. The latest shock will, however, be harder to resist. An economic downturn and the risk of a political crackdown could make Erdogan a less reliable ally for the United States and the European Union. For example, the former uses the Incirlik air base in Turkey to launch strikes against Islamic State, which holds territory in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, the latter relies on Turkey to reduce the number of Syrian migrants that enter its borders. The international political and market ramifications of the failed coup will persist for far longer than the uprising itself. People wave Turkish flags as they celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis People wave Turkish flags as they celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis Related Links Breakingviews is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. ▶ Reuters: Turkish forces try to crush last remnants of coup after Erdogan returns ▶ Timeline: Turkey’s attempted coup ▶ Oil prices rally in late trading after Turkish military takes over Related Articles ▶ Turkey aligns power with prosperity Context News Forces loyal to Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan were fighting on July 16 to suppress the remnants of a military coup that had threatened to overthrow the government. After a night of violence, Reuters reported that 90 people were killed, including many civilians, after a faction of the armed forces tried to seize power with the use of tanks and attack helicopters. Erdogan said perpetrators of the attempted coup would “pay a heavy price”. The value of the Turkish lira fell in late U.S. trading on July 15 after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a group within the military had attempted to overthrow the government. There was also a spike in oil prices. Most Popular ▶ Samsung charges up electric car dream with BYD ▶ Post-Brexit upheaval complicates Irish tax rethink ▶ Turkey’s failed coup leaves no victors ▶ Attack in Nice keeps border issue front and centre ▶ Deutsche Bank a decent flutter for Qatari royals Breakingviews on Twitter Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions © Thomson Reuters 2016. All rights reserved. ======================================================== Turkey detains coup plotters at base used by US: Media Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:9AM Home / Middle East / Turkey US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jets (foreground) are pictured at Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, Turkey. (Photo by Reuters) US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jets (foreground) are pictured at Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, Turkey. (Photo by Reuters) Turkey has detained a senior air force general and other officers accused of involvement in a failed military coup at a key air base used by US forces for raids in Syria, Turkish media reports say. Local news papers, including Hurriyet Daily, said brigadier air force general Bekir Ercan Van was taken into custody Saturday along with over a dozen lower ranking at Incirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana. AFP quoted an unnamed Turkish official as saying that Ankara suspected Incirlik was used to refuel military aircraft hijacked by the putschists overnight Friday. Last year, Turkey agreed to allow the United States to use Incirlik to carry out raids against purported Daesh targets in neighboring Iraq and Syria. Incirlik is of strategic importance to Washington’s aerial military operations as it is home to A-10s, the most reliable manned aircraft the US uses in its military campaign in the two Arab states. It is also one of six NATO sites in the region, which house tactical nuclear weapons. On Saturday, Turkey said it managed to largely crush an attempted military coup launched by an army faction after a night of explosions, gunfire and tanks rolling along the streets of the capital, Ankara, and the main city of Istanbul. Fierce clashes erupted between army forces and the soldiers involved in the foiled coup. A Turkish army armed vehicle drives in Istanbul on July 16, 2016. ©AFP In the wake of the botched coup, Ankara has launched an intensive crackdown against the judiciary and the military, arresting about 3,000 soldiers, including officers, and dismissing almost a similar number of judges and prosecutors. A total of 265 people were killed in the attempted coup d’état in Turkey. According to the US consulate in Adana, Turkish officials had imposed a security lockdown on the air base in the wake of the coup, preventing all movements in or out of the site. The airspace around Incirlik airbase remained closed for a few hours. The report on arrests inside Incirlik come as a number of Turkish state officials, including Labor and Social Security Minister Suleyman Soylu, have suggested that the US had played a part in the failed coup. The accusations prompted US Secretary of State John Kerry to call Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and reject the claims as “utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations.” ============================= Turkey turmoil: Foreign plot or staged coup Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:34AM Home / Middle East / Turkey In this photo, Turkish Air Force General Akin Ozturk is seen on the far right. In this photo, Turkish Air Force General Akin Ozturk is seen on the far right. Some of the soldiers detained in Turkey have reportedly told interrogators they were not aware they were part of a coup attempt. They had been told by commanders they were taking part in military maneuvers, the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper has reported. Some soldiers said they understood they were part of a coup when they saw civilians climb on tanks. Turkish televisions have shown footage of soldiers surrendering to people and special forces police without resistance, their hands behind their heads. According to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, all soldiers involved in the attempted coup have been taken into custody. A Turkish official told reporters that six senior army commanders were arrested in connection with the failed coup, including General Akin Öztürk, who in the 1990s was the Turkish military attaché to Israel. The 64-year-old Öztürk, who later served as the commander of Turkey's air force, served in his country's Tel Aviv embassy from 1998 to 2000. He stepped down as air force commander last year, but continued to serve on Turkey's Supreme Military Council. Prior to Friday's coup attempt he was a celebrated military leader, boasting medals from his own air force as well as from NATO. According to a Turkish official, those behind the attempted coup had been preparing for some time to overthrow the Turkish government. Accusations of US role The most dramatic fallout from the event, however, was suggestions by Turkish state officials that the US was involved in the failed coup. The accusations by Labor and Social Security Minister Suleyman Soylu, in an interview on Turkish TV, forced US Secretary of State John Kerry Turkish to call Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and warn that those claims could harm ties. Kerry “made clear that … public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. The first aftershock came as the Incirlik airbase used by the United States forces lost its electric power and local military authorities closed movement in and out of it. Ankara and Washington have already clashed over US support for Kurdish militants in Syria, which Turkey regards as terrorists trying to carve out an independent state in the region. Staged coup for crackdown? Ankara is also angry with Washington for giving refuge to Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for the failed coup. On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the US to extradite Gulen but Kerry suggested that his country would do so if Turkish leaders “present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny.” Gulen said the attempted overthrow may have been staged. “There is a slight chance, there is a possibility that it could be a staged coup," Gulen told reporters in Pennsylvania. "It could be meant for court accusations and associations." Turkish authorities rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters on Saturday and ordered thousands of judges detained. Erodogan said that the coup leaders would “pay a heavy price” as his ally and deputy prime minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu announced that the government is considering bringing back the death penalty for the plotters. “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army,” he said in Istanbul. French President Francois Hollande said he expected there would be a period of repression in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed coup. A successful overthrow of Erdogan would have marked another seismic shift in the Middle East, which is grappling with a Takfiri menace and foreign-backed militants fighting to topple Iraqi and Syrian governments. There are already suspicions that the US and its allies are creating "managed chaos" in the Middle East with the aim of weakening regional countries and propping up Israel. Warning of further instability Russia's Foreign Ministry warned that the coup attempt in Turkey increases the threat to stability in the region. "Moscow is most concerned at the latest events in Turkey," the ministry said in a statement. "The flare-up of the domestic political situation against the backdrop of the existing terrorist threats in this country and the armed conflict in the region brings a heightened risk to international and regional stability." Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Turkey to avoid "bloodshed," saying its problems needed to be resolved "in accordance with the constitution." In Iran, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani hailed “the victory of democracy and national will over a desperate bid" to topple the government. =================================== Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:03pm EDT Related: World, Aerospace & Defense At height of Turkish coup bid, rebel jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights ANKARA/ISTANBUL | By Humeyra Pamuk and Orhan Coskun Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to the crowd following a funeral service for a victim of the thwarted coup in Istanbul, Turkey, July 17, 2016. Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis At the height of the attempt to overthrow Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the rebel pilots of two F-16 fighter jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights. And yet he was able to fly on. The Turkish leader was returning to Istanbul from a holiday near the coastal resort of Marmaris after a faction in the military launched the coup attempt on Friday night, sealing off a bridge across the Bosphorus, trying to capture Istanbul's main airport and sending tanks to parliament in Ankara. "At least two F-16s harassed Erdogan's plane while it was in the air and en route to Istanbul. They locked their radars on his plane and on two other F-16s protecting him," a former military officer with knowledge of the events told Reuters. "Why they didn't fire is a mystery," he said. A successful overthrow of Erdogan, who has ruled the country of about 80 million people since 2003, could have sent Turkey spiraling into conflict and marked another seismic shift in the Middle East, five years after the Arab uprisings erupted and plunged its southern neighbor Syria into civil war. A senior Turkish official confirmed to Reuters that Erdogan's business jet had been harassed while flying from the airport that serves Marmaris by two F-16s commandeered by the coup plotters but that he had managed to reach Istanbul safely. A second senior official also said the presidential jet had been "in trouble in the air" but gave no details. Erdogan said as the coup unfolded that the plotters had tried to attack him in the resort town of Marmaris and had bombed places he had been at shortly after he left. He "evaded death by minutes", the second official said. Around 25 soldiers in helicopters descended on a hotel in Marmaris on ropes, shooting, just after Erdogan had left in an apparent attempt to seize him, broadcaster CNN Turk said. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had also been directly targeted in Istanbul during the coup bid and had narrowly escaped, the official said, without giving details. Flight tracker websites showed a Gulfstream IV aircraft, a type of business jet owned by the Turkish government, take off from Dalaman airport, which is about an hour and a quarter's drive from Marmaris, at about 2240 GMT on Friday. It later circled in what appeared to be a holding pattern just south of Istanbul, around the time when a Reuters witness in the airport was still hearing bursts of gunfire, before finally coming in to land. Gunfire and explosions rocked both Istanbul and Ankara through Friday night, as the armed faction which tried to seize power strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in the capital. At one point it ordered state television to read out a statement declaring a nationwide curfew. But the attempt crumbled as forces loyal to Erdogan pushed the rebels back and as the Turkish leader, at one point appearing on broadcaster CNN Turk in a video call from a mobile phone, urged people to take to the streets to support him. More than 290 people were killed in the violence, 104 of them coup supporters, the rest largely civilians and police officers. Related Coverage › Turkish cleric Gulen says Erdogan behind coup, willing to be extradited › EU ministers meet on Turkey, facing perfect storm The aerial aspect of the plot appears to have centered on the Akinci air base around 50 km (30 miles) northwest of Ankara, with at least 15 pilots involved under the orders of a rebel commander, according to the former military officer. The head of the armed forces, Hulusi Akar, was held hostage at the base during the coup attempt but was eventually rescued. Jets from Akinci piloted by the rebels roared low over Istanbul and Ankara repeatedly during the chaos of Friday night, shattering windows and terrifying civilians with sonic booms. Fighter jets taking off from another air base at Eskisehir, west of Ankara, were scrambled to bomb Akinci and try to stop the rebels. However, the rogue aircraft were able to keep flying through the night by refueling mid-air after a tanker plane was commandeered, the first senior official said. The tanker aircraft was taken from the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, which is used by the U.S.-led coalition to bomb Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The commander of Incirlik was detained on Sunday for complicity, the official said. MASTERMINDS Three senior officials in Ankara said Akin Ozturk, head of the air force until 2015 and a member of High Military Council (YAS), the top body overseeing the armed forces, was one of the masterminds of the plot. He was among thousands of soldiers detained, pictured on Sunday in handcuffs wearing a striped polo shirt at Ankara police headquarters. Ozturk was due to be retired this August at a meeting of the YAS, which convenes twice a year. According to his biography, still on the military's website, he was born in 1952. The second mastermind was thought to be Muharrem Kose, a former legal adviser to the chief of military staff, the same three Ankara officials said. They described Kose as a follower of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric whose network Erdogan has blamed for carrying out the coup attempt. Kose was removed from his post in March for misconduct but had not been discharged from the armed forces, one of the officials said. His whereabouts are currently unknown. "There were serious preparations ongoing for a very long time. The two people in question seem to have been the brains behind the coup attempt," the official said, declining to be identified because the investigation is still continuing. Erdogan and the government have long accused Gulen's followers of trying to create a "parallel structure" within the courts, police, armed forces and media with the aim of seizing power, a charge the cleric has repeatedly denied. "NOT FULLY PREPARED" Erdogan, his roots in Islamist politics, has always had a difficult relationship with the military, which long saw itself as the guardian of secularism in Turkey, carrying out three coups and forcing a fourth, Islamist-led government from power in the second half of the 20th century. Related Coverage › Turkey reopens air base for U.S fight against Islamic State: Pentagon › Turkish security, coup plotters clash at Istanbul's second airport: official Coup plot trials saw hundreds of officers jailed while Erdogan was prime minister, as the government used the courts to clip the wings of the armed forces. The allegations were later discredited and convictions overturned, but the actions damaged morale and fueled resentment. Yet the coup plotters appear to have overestimated the support they would find within the military ranks. "It was outside the chain of command which was the biggest handicap for the coup plotters," said Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe and a former Turkish diplomat. "They had an insufficient portfolio of resources. They were grossly under-equipped to achieve their strategic objectives ... There was definitely quite a degree of incompetence compared to how coups were done here in the past." At one point they tried to silence CNN Turk, forcing the evacuation of the studio. When it came back on air, anchorwoman Nevsin Mengu described the soldiers as young and with "only fear in their eyes and no sign of devotion or determination". The former military officer said the coup plotters appeared to have launched their attempt prematurely because they realized they were under surveillance, something corroborated by other officials in Ankara. "They weren't fully prepared. The plans were leaked, they found out they were being monitored and it all apparently forced them to move faster than planned," the ex-officer said. They also underestimated Erdogan's ability to rally the crowds, his appeal for supporters to take to the streets bringing people out in Istanbul, Ankara and elsewhere even as tanks took to the streets and jets screamed overhead. Sertac Koc, press adviser to the mayor of Kazan district where the Akinci base is located, said local residents started noticing the high number of jets taking off as events unfolded. "When they saw jets hitting parliament in Ankara and people in Istanbul, they got organized among themselves and marched to the base to try and stop them," he told Reuters by phone. "They tried to block traffic to the base by parking their vehicles, burning hay to block the jets' vision, and in the end they attempted to cut the power to the base," he said. Seven people were killed when the rebel soldiers opened fire, Koc said, among the dozens of civilians killed across the country in one of Turkey's worst nights of bloodshed. (Additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva, Paul Taylor in Brussels; Writing by Nick Tattersall; editing by David Stamp) =============================================================== World | Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:34pm EDT Related: World Turkey's Erdogan says military to be restructured after abortive coup ANKARA | By Samia Nakhoul, Nick Tattersall and Orhan Coskun Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, July 21, 2016. Reuters/Umit Bektas Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters on Thursday that there were significant failures in intelligence ahead of last Friday's attempted military coup and that the armed forces would quickly be restructured. In his first interview since declaring a state of emergency following the abortive coup, Erdogan said a new coup attempt was possible but would not be easy, saying "we are more vigilant". "It is very clear that there were significant gaps and deficiencies in our intelligence, there is no point trying to hide it or deny it. I told it to the head of national intelligence," Erdogan told Reuters in his palace in Ankara, which was targeted during the coup attempt. Related Coverage › Turkey's Erdogan says S&P move political, financial sector strong He said there was no obstacle to extending the state of emergency beyond the initial three months if necessary. Erdogan said the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who he blames for masterminding the attempt to seize power, would be treated as "another separatist terrorist organization", drawing a parallel to the state's fight against Kurdish militants over the past three decades. "We will continue the fight ... wherever they might be. These people have infiltrated the state organization in this country and they rebelled against the state," he said, calling the actions of Friday night "inhuman" and "immoral". He said the death toll had risen to 246 people excluding the coup plotters and that 2,185 people were wounded. Soldiers used fighters jets, military helicopters and tanks to strike institutions including parliament, the intelligence agency and Erdogan's palace in Friday's violence in Istanbul and Ankara. (Reporting by Samia Nakhoul, Nick Tattersall, Orhan Coskun, Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Nick Tattersall) ================================